because i can’t say it…

Dear Dad,

I am graduating in May. I will have two undergraduate degrees. According to the man, come May, I will have proved that I have some grasp on international relations and political science. They will give me the paper that says that I know how to follow directions and I am capable of following through on a semi-monumental task. It is this piece of paper that qualifies me for life.

As you well know, I have been working on this project since 2001. It has been a long time coming. Life has thrown up quite a few road blocks. Most of them were scary, I know, but here we are. You have been quite a support to me. I don’t know what I would have done it without you, and I certainly am not ready for you to walk away. I cannot imagine not needing you there to support me, but it is time for you to let me go. I know that you are scared. I know that you look at me and see a little kid that keeps getting hurt. I know that you feel like you need to protect me. You have to let go.

I need to go away for a while. I need you to let me go away for a while. This is me growing up. I grew up quite some time ago, but I can’t really go until you let me. If you let me go now, I will come back soon. If you make me fight to leave, I will not want to come back. I want to want to come back. Please, don’t make me fight with you.

Word on the street is that I am smart. The profs tell me that I am one of the best in my program. They say that I can compete with the best out there. They talk about graduate programs at the best schools in the nation. It takes everything in me to believe them. I cannot look at myself and see brilliance, but they see something great. You want me to stay here, go to school at Kent or Akron. Can you understand that I would be throwing away something great if I did this? They would be tremendously disappointed in me if I stay. You will be tremendously disappointed in me if I go.

I am scared too. I don’t forget all of the bad things that have happened. I feel safer here, but I need to open the other doors and spend some time on the other paths. I don’t know where to go, or what to do, but I know that it is time. Please, will you help me?

Thanks. I love you. I am sorry that I have to grow up.

Colleen

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head in sand…

twenty-six years old. i am twenty-six years old, and sometimes i have boundary issues. said issues are quite interesting in that i have boundaries, in fact, i am generally quite good at setting them up (initially) and acknowledging (internally) when they are being crossed. however, i am oftentimes not so good at clarifying the fact that they have been breached once they are. here in lies the issue. i guess that you might say that i am a wimp. i do not let people walk all over me, to any degree, though, i often struggle to stand up for myself in the little things.

the issue comes up because my boundaries are being breached. i don’t want to deal with the problem, but i fear that i must. that said, i am about to do something that is going to get me in big trouble. this something is not anything inappropriate. in fact, it is only appropriate given my boundaries. the problem… it is unacceptable given the boundaries of the boundary breaker.

what ever shall i do?

the answer… i again highlight my age. i am twenty-six years old. i am a relatively (compared to many, a very) healthy adult. thus, i suck it up and deal with the problem. oh, to be a kid again.

are you there?

i have not been here in quite some time. i find that i do not have the time to read the blogs of some of the people that i care about most. why then should i blog myself? the obvious answer seemed to be, don’t. however, i am confronted with a problem. i am stuck inside my head. i have things to say, but i don’t know who to say them to, how to say them, or if they are even worth saying. further, i am not even sure if there is anyone here to read. if i were you, i would have deserted me long ago.

regardless of the obvious reasons not to write. i am going to anyway. i don’t know what i am going to say. it is likely that it will be a plethora of nothingness, but maybe there will be a gem buried in there somewhere amongst the rubbish. bear with me. i am hopsslam-ed.

here i go:

the other day, i was talking to talya about the woes that seem to have dominated my being as of late. these conversations happen often with talya, as it seems that i struggle to understand or think that anyone else cares the way that she does, or wants to hear the way that she does, or understands the way that she does, or knows what to say the way that she does. thus, talya is it. she gets it all, and the rest get the bits and pieces. there is a problem with this scenario. (1) talya is not here. while i do not begrudge her the absence, it is a problem. her being gone means that colleen does not get it all out as frequently or in the way that she need to. i bottle. not healthy. bad for the resolution of inner turmoil and problems. (2) it is not healthy to rely on one person, regardless of who they are, to such a degree. it isn’t nice for her, and it isn’t such a good idea for me either. i need to branch out. i need to let other people care about me.

as elliot smith would say, “bottle up and explode…”

in my feeble attempt to prevent said explosion. i will uncork my bottle here.

i am heartbroken. i fell in love in st. petersburg. it was more prefect, and lovely than anything that i could ever have imagined for myself. i could have continued on in that state for the duration of what my life will be. we broke up on august 23rd. it hurts less now. it hurts differently now. it still hurts. all of the memories are still there. will they ever go away? if i can get through an entire day without a glimpse of what was, i am caught off guard. i see things everywhere. it follows me like a shadow.

most of the time, i feel like no one understands. all of the time, i feel like no one cares. i realize that this is likely not the reality, but it is my reality.

on a bad day, i walk around like a ghost. i long more than anything to have someone say to me, “are you okay?” and not believe me when i say, “yes.” i want you to sit and listen to me talk. i want your sympathy. i want your eyes to see my hurt. i want you to understand my pain. i want you to tell me that i am not a pathetic human being for feeling like this five months and 24 days after the fact. i have been having a lot of days like this recently.

i am tired of hiding. that is all.

UPDATE

Wow. Has it really been that long since I last blogged? I suppose that the numbers don’t lie. Sorry, about that. Well, here I am, are you ready for it? And GO:

It is the 3rd of May. I hit my head last Saturday, resulting in a dandy little concussion. I am not sure if you were around the last time that I had a concussion, but it was not fun. This one has not been fun either. There have been several particular problems. (1) I am not very good at taking care of myself. Really, the problem is not that I am not good at it, rather I just don’t do it. This results in an inefficient and not speedy healing process. (2) This past week was the last week of classes. In total, despite my best efforts (by this, I mean despite my efforts to not take care of myself by going to class instead), I managed to attend two classes! Not good for the last week of the semester. (3) Finals are this week. It appears as though I will be receiving a couple of incompletes. Not really, cool in my book, but I am trying to roll with the punches. (4) I am supposed to leave for the Russian Federation in just short of three weeks. Now a nice vacation would be fine and dandy, but I am going to study in an intensive language immersion program. I am attempting to be optimistic, however I am a bit worried, being that I have just elected to take an incomplete in my current Russian language class because I can hardly formulate a coherent thought in English, let alone Russian. (5) I am not really healing very well. I have decided to chalk this off to my not doing what I need to do to take care of myself. So, I am going to be horizontal today, and tomorrow. Hopefully, this will have miraculous healing powers and I will be on the mend before we know it. Also, I have to go back to the doctor on Monday. Maybe he will drill a burr hole and this will all go away.

As far as loss of memory goes… so far so good. I am definitely slow, and there has been extensive slurring of my speech, but there has been little repetition and I have managed to remember things that people have told me. Again, I am going to try to be optimistic. I can only hope that I will not find myself in the middle of Russia with an inability to remember what time it is, or how to ask someone what time it is. Scary.

Update on all the other stuff: I went to the country of Macedonia over winter break. It was great, however I think that it solidified that I don’t want to join the peace corps. Which is good… one less option for me to grapple with is great. Up until this debacle, I have had a great Spring semester. My grades would have been solid, and I am sure that I will finish things up just fine come August. I managed to make myself some new friends at school. For the most part they are winners. There are a few in particular that have proved to be great. I added my double major this semester (it was a minor before, so no big deal). If all goes according to plans, I will graduate in May of 2009 with a BA in International Relations and a BA in Political Science. My plan at this point is to do the grad school thing in Washington DC. I am still looking at programs, so I cannot tell you more than that.

I feel out of touch. Why do we only get each other’s voice mails? Also, I don’t really understand your blog anymore. Did you quit your job? Mae, are you still alive? I am leaving for Russia on May 23rd. There will be a bonfire at my house on Thursday, May 22nd. You should come.

life decisions.

I am busy. Also, not busy. Will I eventually reach an age or state of mind that will allow me to stop being distracted? It really seems to be a problem, but at the same time, many would probably say that I spend far too much time studying, so maybe it isn’t a problem at all.

I have recently been spending quite a bit of time thinking about my future. Over Christmas break, I am going to Macedonia. I will be in St. Petersburg in June and Moscow in July. I have to take LSATs and GREs in the fall when I come back home (or possibly in May before I leave). It appears that I will be graduating in May of 2009 (finally). Hence, I am considering my options.

My options include: International law J.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, or the University of Akron (i.e. become a lawyer and stay in the home region for further education) or International/Comparative politics M.A. from Georgetown, American University, or George Washington University (i.e. become a political genius and move to Washington D.C. for further education). Regardless of the degree I receive, I will most likely pursue a job with a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO, i.e. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch), an Inter-Governmental Organization (IGO, i.e. UN), or with a think tank (i.e. USIP, CSIS).

What are your thoughts? Seriously, I know that it all seems like babble, but I really could use your input… even if there is no rational basis for your opinion.

Kak dyela?

When will the grass stop growing? I am tired of mowing the lawn. Although, I guess that the next phase of seasonal outside work is plowing the snow. Hmm. Maybe I like the lawn better. Nevermind.

The new school semester has brought many exciting observations and changes. When attempting to fix a broken iPod, it may be easier to purchase a new one than to recycle (fix) the beloved old one. I am a firm believer of “newer is not always better,” so this has been quite difficult for me. The situation has not yet been resolved. We will see if my old friend makes the cut.

It appears that my computer had been dealing with congestive heart failure (CHF) for quite some time. He suffered from a massive heart attack at approximately 1:30pm EST on Wednesday. He has been in the ICU since that time. The doctors are still unsure if he is going to make it. He and I have been through a lot, and I will be sad to see him go, but I am excited about the prospects.

I discovered Wednesday evening that when God was passing out brothers I got a really good one. Quite honestly, I am a bit sad that it has taken me so long to realize this bit of happiness. When my computer flashed the “blue screen of death” my brother responded just the way a brother should. There was positive support via the telephone and then direction for the necessary action. To top it all off, he provided me with a loaner laptop. Without him I would have been lost or at least having a nervous breakdown. I am thinking that he is great. Maybe this is to make-up for the lapse of brotherly action when I ran into the cement wall. What do you think?

Lastly, let it be known to all that the professors from the former Soviet Union (in this case Kazakhstan) are very scary. I am not sure if I should laugh or cry. I make note of this so that you can do your best to avoid them.

All is well here on the farm.

Do svidaniya!

today, in the news…

Being that the month of August is almost complete, I felt it appropriate to blog. I assure you that this blog will be very uninteresting, as I will detail the most recent events of my life.

The last month or so has been a time of great excitement, busy-ness, boredom, and adventure. I took a class in logic. It was mostly awful, and seemed very illogical, but I had a sort of strange fondness for my classmates, and I ended up with an A. I suppose that it was time well spent.

Talya graced Akron with her presence for a week of vacation. There was fun had by one and all. We took weekend trips to Athens and Bangs, which were both time well spent. I saw the new Baker Center and was almost brought to tears by the Front Room. (Talya told me to pull myself together, and all was well). I bought cashew butter at the Mt. Vernon farmers market, and had the worst “there are no hills” run of my life.

In a second trip to Bangs, I shot my first real gun (a shotgun and a handgun). Thanks, to Lyndsey and Seth for hosting, and thanks to Lin for supplying the tools. This was great fun, aside from the ridicule and disbelief over my never having shot a gun before. Apparently, there is something about me that would lead people to believe that I have been shooting guns for years.

Gomez (the hedgehog) was finally disposed of. He was returned to the breeder and has since successfully found a new home. It was harder to send him away than I thought it would be, but I am glad that he can be a happy hog. I played paintball again. I think that it will be a new fun thing to do. My paint-balling skills need honed, but I can hold my own with the big boys. However, I need to work the bruises. My left boob and left buttock suffered greatly. It seems that the bad ones take about a month to heal, so as soon as these ones are all better, I will be going to get some new ones. It may sound crazy, but if you had ever done it, you would do it too.

I saw Modest Mouse. I mowed the lawn. I worked at the factory. I visited Matt and Lyndsey’s lovely house in Firestone Park and had some “grandma like” casserole. My brother John and his wife Tara are having a second kid (due in April) and I am very excited.

Fall semester starts up on Monday. I am taking Russian, Human Rights & Social Justice, History of the Balkans, and Environmental Geology.

All is well. I am going to a farewell clam back extravaganza for Jess M. today. Very exciting.