Dear Annie, Mike, and Peter,
I have edited this entry, which I wrote on a night when I opted to ascribe thought and meaning to my life in a way that I've largely refused to do during the last few years. Please excuse the apparent narcissism in this entry; I hope I'm speaking in response to our conversation. Forgive me if parts are repetitive:
In my youth I experienced constant and unyielding suicidal thoughts, and I grew accustomed to my desire to kill myself. The exercise of creatively imagining death as my companion grew seductive, then habitual. In the concept of death, I finally felt like I had found a constant, a companion. In one short piece, I shoot myself in the face and surreally survive. Then I stare at myself in a mirror, pondering the aesthetic of blood on my skull and hair, the beauty of the external finally mirroring my troubled internal self--symmetry.
Yesterday, I experienced a quasi-opposite occurrence. I was wasted on several strong margaritas, and in the process of giving my margarita-making friend a critique on the beginning of his novel. The words soared up and down as I attempted to read them, like an elusive but grand predator bird on the white sky of my computer screen. Suddenly, I felt his hand caressing the nape of my neck, then gently twirling my hair. I froze. I felt no attraction to this friend, but the touch was soothing, and I didn't want him to stop. As my fiance's eyes settled on his hand, my drunk friend abruptly removed it from the environs of my visage. Five minutes later he threw up.
My fiance asked me what happened, and why I didn't really react when my friend placed his hand on my neck. I replied that I had been taken completely aback by my (or so I thought) entirely platonic friend's move. Then I admitted that while I felt no physical attraction or chemistry to the friend, the touch felt good, felt needed. To me, it felt like a nurturing touch, even if my friend had ascribed another meaning to it.
Today I discovered that I didn't pass the New York bar. The news didn't surprise me.
A friend who is like a sister encouraged me to fight the law firm that fired me this summer on false pretenses two weeks before I was to sit for the bar exam. She said that all this not fighting, this avoiding conflict, that I'm engaged in has to be wearing on my self-esteem--my sense that I can win. Before the bar exam, my youngest brother said, "You know, you don't have to fail the bar exam to tell everyone that you don't want to be a lawyer. You can pass the bar exam and then do whatever you want to do."
Tonight I stood before my bathroom mirror as I started to disrobe. In the dim light, I stared--I dare say I even ogled myself. I had forgotten how much I adore my own physical beauty. My flawless skin with its beautiful light bronze, almost golden, hue. My deep eyes, cocoa and amber thrown together intelligently. My nose that proclaims with its longness and bigness an obviously non-aryan ethnicity, and complicates my face in a Penelope Cruz sort of way, as one ex-lover has described it. My lips are delicate, mauve, a small flower smirking, pondering. My shiny, dark hair, a bouquet of colors under sunlight that falls perfectly around my face and on my shoulders, like dark rivers dropped. My petite body with its model-like proportions in a seriously miniature package. I reflect (no pun intended) on the fact that I would alter almost nothing. Seriously, arriving at this stage of self-love and narcissism took much time and mental effort. It's actually quite an accomplishment, especially given the external self-hate I often felt as a teenager. Tonight I felt a tug of impatience as I smiled at my beautiful self. "You must accomplish," I instructed, "before you lose your beauty. Marketing, Sonal--your picture on the back of your book will take you very far." I have grown into my own toxic and adoring parent now.
At some point, I lost my love of fight. I lost any desire to fight anything or anyone. I absolutely despise fighting. I was tired. On some subconscious level, I believed that I have lost every fight from its inception, so why even bother, why tire myself out in the process? I'm constantly terrified of losing, so I just choose to lose. There are no games anymore--everything feels ridiculously high-stakes, and I have a habit now of opting out, and then back in, when it's already too late--after much self-sabotage. Tonight I have decided again that so many times when I've claimed that I've care about the fight but have just detached myself from the results (as Krishna advises Arjun to do int he Mahabharata), I've realized that I've been completely lying to myself. I have been detached throughout, which means that I'm not fighting at all. I'm lying there as if I'm already dead and waiting to be run over, or screwed over, or lost. If I continue this way of life, I will give away everything that I love about myself. This is the change I need to make immediately. Physical beauty without mental feist will not satisfy me at all. I desire my hunger back, and am trying to awaken her with kisses and arguments.
I'm taking the GRE in December and applying to grad schools in Anthropology. I'm also going to retake the bar exam in February, and have already begun to envision myself beating it senseless (truth be told from the mouth of this nerdette, I've begun to visualize outlines and vastly organized colored notecards). It's going to be a few rough months of tests, applications, and then additional tests and applications. They are not just means to certain ends, but the good fight that I have to remember I owe myself in order to bring my inner self to equilibrium with the beautiful woman I gloriously objectified tonight.