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I am...a New Yorker
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Thursday, July 4, 2002
Independent!
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Sweating...
Still...I came home for lunch and computer use.

Praying...
Yep.

Crying...
Not for days, hurrah!

Painting...
In the lounge between dinner and fireworks later this evening.

Reading...
Book of Shadows a bit more last night and a bit of Seat of the Soul, by Gary Zukov, on the subway this afternoon.

Eating...
BBQ pork ("just the meat, no bun." "You wanna roll wit that?" "No, no bun, no roll, nor any bread of any kind, thank you. Could I have just 3 onion rings, please?" He gave me 6, ya gotta love it.) , corn on the cob and apple pie. Yum! Diet, schmiet!

Watching...
Six Feet Under tapes, which I've never gotten around to mailing to Fang. I misseed a few episodes here and there, particularly the first season, while I was moving to New York. I love that show. It's dark and yet real, surprising, and often uplifting.

Going...
Up to the roof, to watch the fireworks. I haven't been this elated and yet frightened to do so since December 31, 1999.

I am...thinking a lot about what freedom means. I know I've been complaining a lot, because shit's been going wrong. But mostly, I am grateful to have been freed from that job, particularly because it's given me the time and room in my head to even consider school.

Also, I've had some time to explore New York and remember what I love about this place. I'm still torn between NY and SF, but today I am leaning toward New York, because there is so much yet for me to experience here. It will take longer and be more expensive, but I think the experience will be richer.

I hope a lot of the intensity will be lessoned because I will be in an academic environment, rather than work. Even if it is, as I hope, more challenging than a California public university, it is the kind of work I am good at and love.

Today, I woke up thinking how fortunate I have been, even though it's been a struggle and money's usually been tight. I have been lucky enough to live in two incredible cities that I loved more than any man. I've been exposed to a variety of people and ideas I might not otherwise have encountered. I was free to do this, even though I am a woman and a minority. It hasn't always been a picnic, but for the most part, no one has actively tried to stop me. In another time or place, I might not be so lucky.

My father, when I called them to say I was safe the first time I moved to New York said, "This is the stupidest thing you've done yet," which was really saying something, all things considered! But he didn't and couldn't stop me from exploring what was to me, a new frontier.

I think we have yet a long way to go in terms of equality, we often take three steps forward and one step back. I am not of the flag-waving variety of patriot, but I love this country. I might, indeed, be a product of having far too many choices -- I am interested in so many things, I don't often make significant progress in any one area.

Yet, even in my deepest doldrums, my life is so rich in lessons and opportunities. Just when I'm ready to give up on this city or on friendships, someone like Lauren last week comes through and reminds me how important both of those things are to me.

. . .

I had a great conversation with my mother today. I guess it's a matter of catching her at the right time. We talked for almost 2 hours, she usually rushes me off the phone, saying, "I'm going to let you go," which really means they want to be let go. But today she was jovial, supportive and told me she hopes I'm safe.

The thing is, I know on some level she loves me, but that part of her doesn't come out nearly often enough. Instead of criticizing me for getting fired, as she has done before, she said I should be thankful that I am out of that place and know that I did my best in an impossible situation. She said to take advantage of having free time in New York to see the museums and other things that are within my budget.

She also said that if I want to go to a good school -- Yale, Harvard, or the like -- she knew I would find a way to do it. These are the days I am so thankful for, because too often we waste time fighting.

[Next entry: "Searching for Signs of Intelligent Life"]
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Replies: 2 comments

Wow! The coolest diary I ever came across...

A great subject on Independence day....

Posted by Meena @ 07/06/2002 03:33 AM EST

Thank you Meena, I had in mind the sense of freedom I am thankful for, as an American.

But then it pisses me off when my gay friend tells me how good I have it in the U.S. (as a woman and a minority). Even here there is much progress to be made, and I don't appreciate the condescension when I express legitmate gripes. Telling a progressive that they should be thankful for what they have reeks of putting a "timetable on another's freedom," as Martin Luther King, Jr. put it.

`It doesn't mean I am less patriotic, quite the opposite. I want my country to be the best it can be, by fulfilling its promise to allow everyone the freedom to fulfill their destiny.

Posted by Erica @ 07/06/2002 03:22 PM EST

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