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I sincerely do not have a title, sorry

  I am going to pinch myself if I fall asleep writing this because it sort-of, kind-of, needs! to be written before I fly off on Saturday and realize I am way too busy (again, sucker, referring to myself) to write about anything. The truth is, I do have time to write, it is just that studying so much deprives me of my inspiration. It sounds so awkward and excusable that I will slap myself later, thank you very much.

  Last week, my Romanian teacher from high school asked me to come over and speak in front of some classes about my present life in the States since I am dwelling in such a great mindset now compared to when I visited her last year. But I urge you to take the things I am about to say with a pinch of salt. I encountered some interesting questions and some not at all, but the gist of it is that there were a couple that got my very own thinking, albeit quite rusty wheels moving. 

   My special talent is creating lists. Eh, quite anticlimactic, I am aware. They are more often than not a bit aimless and simply offer me a sense of coping with my disorganized reality, however, I suspect a list of things I need to get off my chest before entering another semester is what you and I need. Or at least what I need for the moment. Fair warning, this list doesn’t have a particular order or meaning, and may very well comprise some recurring thoughts I had which needed to be materialized on my blog in some shape or form. 

    One thing I do want to mention before I get into the core of it all is that, as ever, I spill my soul on my blog. I continue to do so because every time someone comes up to me and introduces themselves as a fan or a reader, my soul expands into my chest little by little. After three years of this incredible journey, posting something on my blog will overture a rush I may find nowhere else. This list is a summation of the things I learned (mostly the hard way) in the past months, as I have witnessed a personal growth I never thought possible in myself, which is beyond selfish and idiotic. Here goes nothing.

  1. Some of you asked me how did the investigation with Title IX end. I am afraid it is still going and I lack a proper answer. In spite of all the feelings that boiled my blood and angered nerves I never knew I had, this will remain to date the best decision I have ever made. You see, I have never, in my entire life as a woman, felt such an empowering trance. I say trance because it still feels surreal even as I write this. The final answer to this whole conundrum could be very well against my report, but at the end of the day, the investigation offered me this unbelievably special something. For the first time in my life, I spoke out and it felt fucking good. It felt out of this world to know someone is held responsible for insulting me, for touching me without consent, for treating me with less respect than I deserved like any other worker. Ever since then, I spoke out in situations (because they keep them coming, don’t they) a Julia from one year ago would have run in the opposite direction for. My only vow to myself right now is that I will stop doing this until I give this planet my last breath. I just hope that they have consent in hell. 
  2. Coming home to Romania and specifically, my hometown, I realize how much I have outgrown the place and the people. In an attempt to belittle my achievements and come off as modest (sidenote: there is no such thing as modesty), there was a feeling of betrayal to the woman I have become in the meantime. Fair point, speaking about myself in the third person is stupid and I will stop doing it, but let me make my point first. I have built “this project” from the pieces so many people tore down with every fiber in my being and I continue to do so. The fact that I do the things I do is because I was the only person there for me when nobody else was. Granted, I thank my parents, my friends, my mentors and so on, but their support could have been redundant had I not picked myself up when I needed to. Yes, roll your eyes and call out my selfishness. Be my guest. I’ll wait.
  3. Continue to send in your CV. I needed a month of plain refusals to get the job I have and love right now. I was losing hope. And, might I add, it is humane and raw to break down crying in your shower thinking you are not good enough. Those were my Sunday evenings, anyway. Of course, there will always be someone better for the job (unless, you know). But the regret is much more powerful than the refusal. The sole idea of taking risks is the epitome of evolution, but don’t quote me on that. 
  4. I sometimes forget I have a heart and it can get broken. It messes up my schedule. 
  5. Nonetheless, trust time will heal or at least patch everything up.
  6. And even so, the hardest reality I am trying to come to terms with is that I could end up by myself. And it is alright.
  7. I did whatever it took to make ends meet. This includes the road to becoming financially independent from my parents, learning how to cook, choosing to stay in instead of partying, choosing to get dead drunk instead of studying, rewarding myself with a manicure after having my nose in fried rice all week in the dining hall, asking for help when it was needed, having sex when I wanted, saying no when I didn’t want it, not offering any further explanations, exploring my sexuality when I realized it was something my mind wondered about, not getting frustrated with ignorance anymore, lighting up a cigarette and roasting cheap coffee to wind down, crying, not crying, losing half of my hair because of stress, getting back most of my hair because of winter break, crying over a man, getting a tattoo, getting over that man, cuddling my mom, yelling at my mom, loving myself, always. 
  8. Having a nude photoshoot was one of the scariest things I did. Even scarier was owning up those pictures and posting them on the internet for everyone to see and judge. Up to personal interpretation, to be quite fair.
  9. The Big Bang Theory is racist, xenophobic, sexist, and misogynistic.
  10. How the hell do people not gossip about other people? Asking for a friend.
  11. One of the things I can finally do as of now because of past events is dressing up how I have always wanted without trying to sexualize myself. Yes, I do know it is a personal choice to sexualize the clothing of other people, but due to the society I have grown up in, I sexualized myself first and foremost. I thought I needed to look a certain way and appease a certain audience. This break, I finally bought clothes I felt comfortable in – they may not be the greatest fashion choice concerning my body type, but they make me feel me. So, if you see me wearing baggy jeans and oversized blazers, mind your business. 
  12. Embracing my body as it is. It represents the owner of a sea of breast stretch marks, thighs melting in cellulite, body hair I so feverishly tried to get rid of for so long, curls that could never be tamed and if they were, looked like burnt straws, an asymmetrical nose pinned on my face, crooked teeth that form this silly, yet genuine smile, and I could go on but I hope you get my point. I have overanalyzed every inch of my physical appearance for years on end, forever spewing hate toward it when I should have cultivated adoration instead. Try this. Hate got me nowhere, let me try love for a change.
  13. Listen and listen carefully. When you are a first-gen, low-income student, working four jobs, and sustaining only major-related classes, while simultaneously trying to botch a social life to avoid depression, tell me I should go work out if I want a real change and I will slap you across your face. 
  14. I can overcome anything, but loneliness.
  15. Be delicate to yourself. You have walked so many miles and held the most lovable hands in yours. You witnessed sunsets dipping off into the water drunk on whatever it was your friends gave you. Miracles tiptoed around you like ticking time bombs, you felt deeply without a hint of remorse, you cried and you withered away on your pillow swallowing a late goodnight. And yet, you somehow came here for comfort. Some things just do not work out. Thank God.
  16. Do the universe a favor and support the people around you, even if it means admitting envy and a lack of self-sufficiency. I still nourish an odd hatred for people that are long gone from my narrative. I want peace, but that is out of the question.
  17. Love those you choose to love without dignity. Whatever person you decide to tangle your heart around, complete them with passion and suffer in stinging madness afterward. Life is not worth living for one-quarter of an emotion.
  18. If you are a man, be an ally. Listen to your sisters. Support your mothers. Speak out when the women around you are muted and sidelined. This kind of privilege you were given when pushed out of a vagina so as to finally take your first fresh breath should be taken with some honor in the world. 
  19. I have been entertaining the thought of packing my bags and sincerely saying goodbye to both of the worlds I have been living in. I must say it will have to wait until I have a degree, which will be nicely packed alongside with two shirts and a pair of pants. I don’t need shoes, these feet were meant for pain.
  20. Insist on self-love. We are all doomed on this Earth, so what if you cry me a river and hug yourself instead?
  21. I am still writing a book about my life, but I reckon there are still a couple of years I need to dive into before publishing. Nevertheless, you will be the first to know about the adventures of a feisty, petite girl that took on the world and the world tried to stop her. 

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