Sunday, January 18, 2015
I've had a good time here.
This blog saw me graduate from high school and move across the country and start a new life. I am grateful beyond measure for that time.
But it's time to move again. I've started looking to make something real out of my writing and start doing all the stuff I've talked about through my years and years of blog after blog. So today I'm so excited to announce that I'm moving my blog to somewhere with a real official domain name and lots and lots of cool features and pictures of myself because I am unashamed of trying to document my life better.
So the empire launches: addybaird.com
You'll be able to find all the posts from this blog over there, too, and I'll leave this guy up because old blogs are gold.
Thank you for all of your love and support on the blogosphere. Don't be strangers.
"...and to you, if you have stuck with Harry until the very end."
For the last time!
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Hope you all missed blog posts of poems forever.
And Then It Was Less Bleak Because We Said So by Wendy Xu
Today there has been so much talk of things exploding
into other things, so much that we all become curious, that we
all run outside into the hot streets
and hug. Romance is a grotto of eager stone
anticipating light, or a girl whose teeth
you can always see. With more sparkle and pop
is the only way to live. Your confetti tongue explodes
into acid jazz. Small typewriters
that other people keep in their eyes
click away at all our farewell parties. It is hard
to pack for the rest of your life. Someone is always
eating cold cucumber noodles. Someone will drop by later
to help dismantle some furniture. A lot can go wrong
if you sleep or think, but the trees go on waving
their broken little hands.
Untitled (inspired by Wendy Xu) by me
Today we realized that the saddest thing about death is
the people who get left behind, so much talk about mothers now without sons and how
the mothers should never die second.
Love lives in overalls and always brings food downstairs. Eventually, in a few weeks or a few
years, with more sparkle and pop will be the only way to live. Until then,
someone is always eating cold cucumber noodles and waiting for the autopsy results.
Whispers of gratitude that at least it
wasn't their sons this time hum between the
handshakes of the funeral-goers.
It is hard to pack for the rest of your life. Someone will call later to send their condolences.
A lot can go wrong if you sleep or think, but the seasons will
go on slipping from fall to winter to spring again.
"I walk into a poem and walk out someone else." -Nayyirah Waheed
Happy almost weekend,
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Okay, so a thing happened a couple weeks ago that made me feel like my blog still mattered, which is a silly thing, but like, as a writer, even a teensy little undergrad baby with a little old blog, I want to MATTER. I'm a leo, so that's a thing, right? Also maybe it's just because I'm a human.
Point is: I have been meaning to write about something very important to me for a while, but I just haven't had the drive to sit down and write lately, but today I am full of words and I'm just writing like a madwoman and wowee I just want this feeling to last. I don't know where it's coming from but I do know the stars should stop being in chaos soon (that's a real astrological thing that I don't really understand but everyone's life is insane right now so I believe it; google it I guess), and I am starting to want to write like a real writer girl again.
Okay anyway the thing I've been meaning to write about is how I'm in love with myself.
At some point in high school, I totally fell in love with myself. There's this whole sense that I think happens in high school, and maybe even starts in junior high, and definitely carries on through college and, I'd be willing to guess (though in all fairness I have no idea if this is a true assumption) it carries on into adulthood for infinity, and it's this weird thing no one really talks about where hating yourself the most is the most poetic and interesting. "Oh, I'm so fat and I'm having such a hard time in French and I am just absolutely failing math and ugh I haven't cleaned the kitchen in weeks and I just haven't ever created anything of meaning," and sometimes those feelings are very real and very valid, and I'm not diminishing that at all, but I do think sometimes we create a culture that feeds a competition of hating ourselves the most in the most poetic way.
When I was 16 years old, I had this distinct epiphany that I am wonderful. I am pretty and smart and I know lots of stuff and I am curious about everything I don't know and I am a good traveler and I am up for adventures and I am loved. This was this strange sort of idea that made its way around my brain for a few years and then finally came fully to fruition when I did my yoga teacher training this summer.
On the very first day of my training, we all introduced ourselves, and we all said things like, "I'm a student/mom/lawyer/doctor/cosmetologist..." and then we were asked to try it again and introduce ourselves without attachments. Who are we without the material things we're tied to? If our jobs and houses and cars and clothes and nails and titles were all gone, who would we be? All of the sudden, the whole room had answers like, "I am creative! I am smart! I am beautiful/loving/gentle/sweet/loved..." And we all realized that when we take that all away, we aren't anxious or stressed or overworked, but we're nice and we're good and we're curious. We're all good things, and when you look at yourself like that, in the way that's the most important, that's what matters the most. YOU ARE GOOD THINGS! ISN'T THAT COOL??!
The very foundation of yoga, the first yama of the yamas is ahimsa, which is the practice of nonviolence to yourself in order to practice nonviolence to every other living thing you interact with. And while I think the old cliche "If you don't love yourself, no one can love you," isn't true at all, because, well, that's sad and untrue, loving yourself and treating yourself with care -- not saying things like, "I suck at..." or "I hate when I..." -- makes it so much easier to refrain from things like "She sucks at" or "I hate..." about other people, either. Loving yourself doesn't mean you love other people less or that you're better than them in any way -- in fact, I think it's sort of the opposite. Loving yourself makes it so easy to see the beautiful things in everyone you come into contact with.
So YES, I still have terrible things. I have terrible days. I have terrible weeks sometimes, but I'm starting to realize, with more and more surety, that loving myself is the greatest asset I've got. I am smart and beautiful and curious and creative and I love myself, and this helps me heal. This helps me to be resilient and to be kind. And those are very important things to be.
So I just wanted to put this out there and write about it and I hope that one of you reads it who needs to hear it.
"You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time." -Angela Davis
I love myself and I love all of you,
Addy Sue Baird
Saturday, May 17, 2014
So I’m on a plane from JFK to SLC right now. I want to write this blog post because writing End of the School Year posts is ritualistic for me at this point. I don’t really know what exactly I want to say this year, though, because for every year before it’s been like, “I’m moving from grade 10 to grade 11” or whatever. This year it’s like, “I got a new life.” I got a new life.
A couple nights ago, it was about 3 am and I was on the phone with Tris gossiping and crying and understanding the whole world and I started to think about this life I’ve created over the course of this year. It’s strange to think back over the course of it because it’s so complete now. I know exactly what happens when I wake up every day. I have people, a weird family that even fills family roles in its own way, mother, father, sister, brother, brother-in-law. I even have that old uncle who uses his socks as a way of having controlled fun. We eat dinner together.
I think the weirdest thing about this school year is the way that school and life just blended together into one life, and in my mind it was just going to continue on into infinity just like this. As the school year’s come to a close I’ve been being the most pretentious ever and I’m constantly like, “Ugh, there’s this T.S. Elliot poem that ends ‘This is the way the world ends/This is the way the world ends/This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper,’ and that’s how I feel about ending of this school year.” Because it’s true. College is weird. I’m so used to K-12 at the end of the year how there’s always cupcakes and water balloons. In college, you just get to panic about your miserable life and how you really should’ve paid better attention in math class all semester long and then you don’t sleep for a week and everyone just has this insane mutual panic – and then it’s over. Not with a bang, but a whimper because you probably failed something and now there’s nothing you can do about it.
So I tried to create my own cupcakes and water balloons – but, like, metaphorically, because I can’t cook and also I don’t like getting wet. I tried SoulCycle for the first time and even though my butt is still sore, it was completely the best workout ever and I can’t wait to do it again as soon as I’m back in the fall. (Also if any of you want to get me their gear for my birthday, you should. You can buy it all online. They have the best tanks.) Last night at midnight, the gang went to French Roast and we sat around and ate hummus and reminisced and wrote an opera and talked about how we’re going to come back in ten years and be like, “Aw, remember when?” We’ll all be rich by then, also.
I guess what I’m saying is that there’s a part of me that feels like my life’s ending. Back in January, I wrote about how sometimes having two homes makes me feel like half a person, but that I also realized that I can have 100% of a life in New York and 100% of a life in Utah, which actually worked out great for me, except now it feels like 100% of me is dying. Having a life stretched across 2,000 miles, as much as I would love to say it it's so, to say I’ve got it all figured out just isn’t even possible. But I realize also that I’m coming home to another 100% life and I get to do my yoga training and see the few friends I have left and sleep in a bed that is actually the size for a real human and spend time with my family, and that’s going to be the best thing ever. I also realize that the best way to love New York is to leave it. But I’m really over the “not with a bang, but a whimper” analogy, because yesterday, last night, this morning, it all felt like a bang. Not even exaggerating, I think I cried fifteen different times yesterday, and every time it was something different. One minute I was sobbing because I didn’t want to leave and the next it was because I couldn’t wait to be home and the next it was because I was stressed about my French final and the next it was just because I still think New York is the most beautiful place in the entire world. I just love everyone and everything and everywhere so desperately, and, like, it hit me really hard. I think I freaked everyone out.
I also get really nostalgic before I leave a place. Everything feels important. It’s all like, “Aw, last time I’ll sleep in this bed, and last time I’ll eat Siagon Shack for three months, and last time I’ll have this stupid monkey shower curtain sticking to me while I try to shave my legs.” It’s sort of silly because I’m only leaving for three months, but I think that’s also part of the reason that the best way to love New York is to leave it. I start to love everything about it again, even the sticky heat and the weird smells and the way the water drips off the air conditioners outside buildings and for a second it’s like you’re getting rained on but with the grossest water ever but it’s great because everyone hates it together.
When I sat down to write this blog post I thought I’d write something like, “Oh, look what I’ve learned! Look how I’ve grown! I’m an adult!” But, like, as far as actual adulthood goes, I might have actually moved backward. I can’t drive, I can’t cook, I can’t take my high school friends seriously when they get engaged. There’s a huge part of me that wants to say, “New York changed me. My first year of college changed me.” And I definitely think a lot of people want me to feel that or be that or have that be a real thing, but when I think about the person I was this time last year, I’m really still the same. I have a higher caffeine tolerance, I wear more black, I am entirely disenchanted with Times Square. But I’m really still the same person at my core. I believe the same things. I want the same things. And I think that’s because I was always going to end up in New York. It’s always where I belonged, and it wasn’t going to sweep me off my feet and shape me into its image when that’s what I already was.
I have learned, though. How to be a person. How to navigate a city. How to be sad and still love everything in the world. A year ago, if you’d told me what I’d be today, I don’t know if I would’ve believed you. A part of me thinks I’d have wanted to know I had changed so much more, but a part of me, a bigger part, probably, knows I would’ve just been like, “Yeah. Of course."
So that’s my new life. And now I’m finishing this blog post on the floor of my bedroom in Utah and there are four suitcases and like fifteen boxes and I’ve been driving so much, even though I hate driving more than anything, but also I did yoga and I was safe and Hayley is coming to help me unpack boxes and Morgan is here and Tanner is here, and this isn’t my old life, and it isn’t a new new life, it’s just an extension of the new life, and I feel like that sentence made no sense at all, but here I am, and things are going to be good.
I’m finishing this blog post after four days of being home and I guess all I want to say now is that if I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t do anything different. Which is probably the coolest feeling in the entire world.
"And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good." -John Steinbeck
Monday, April 28, 2014
I've been meaning to blog for a while now. You know, a narcissistic instinct to update you people on my life or give you some sort of inspirational "lean with the curves of the universe"-type something or other. I have a handful of drafts. One's about ruling the world. It fluctuates every time I go back to work on it. It's like, "I am going to rule the world someday! Woohoo! Yeah!" and then it's like, "But also I don't know how to handle people or the world or anything." I have another draft that just says, "I love New York. I don't say that often enough because sometimes I am very bad at living here."
It's been a long few weeks. Not in a bad way or a good way, just long. Late nights, early mornings, late mornings, late nights. Etc. I've been homesick for Utah and then homesick for New York in some sort of strange preemptive way. I've been anxious and sad and wanted to stay in bed and leave only to see movies by myself. And I have. I think sometimes that those are the times I should blog. Those are the times I should go all Sylvia Plath, let my sadness drive incredible work or blah blah, but I'm pretty much in the habit of blogging only when I'm actually feeling good, wanting to send good vibes out into the universe or something.
And today I'm feeling good. I'm wearing shiny red lipstick and a leather jacket and camo pants and I did my hair today. I went to class today. I'm taking control of my life today. I'm listening to Iggy Azelia and she is singing me the songs of how to handle my life today. I signed up for yoga teacher training this summer today and it's the best thing that's ever happened and I've wanted it for years.
I don't really know where this blog post is going. I guess what I really want to say is, yes, lean with the curves of the universe, but also, like, construct your own universe. Put on lipstick and buy soft underwear and admire how pretty your own tumblr is (or admire mine) and be alone when you need to be but also reach out to people. Lay in the dark with your friends instead of laying in the dark alone. The dark is better that way. Drink caffeine but not after 3 pm because getting enough sleep is important. Drink enough water. Sweat.
On Saturday I just decided that I'm going to go to Boston this weekend. I just decided it and made it a thing. I feel lucky because I have the coolest, smartest friend out there at Harvard who has a place for me to sleep, but also, like, I suddenly realized that I am young enough to do things like that, decide to just go to Boston this weekend, but also I am old enough to do things like that. It's so weird and little but also it's enormous and spontaneous and wonderful. I rarely even leave Manhattan, and I should do that more often. I should leave my footprints or my words or my instagram posts all over the world because I can. And I feel so lucky to feel that.
The idea of constructing my own universe is something I've understood for a long time in a sort of large, shoddily constructed way, and it's not like I woke up today and I understood and was so perfect at it or anything, but also I did. I woke up and I bs'd half a French paper (that I think deserves an A+ for that reason alone, because if I can bs in French, I'm getting good, right?) and I chose music that made me feel powerful and clothes that made me feel good and made a to-do list and I just did it. And that doesn't mean every day is a day when I have my life together, or that every day even should be a day when I have my life together, but, like, today it is. And it feels good. These are lessons in constructing my own universe and being the Queen of it.
So at risk of sounding like a self-help book, like, start constructing your own universe. It feels good. Start by getting out of bed and washing your face and wearing good underwear and listening to Iggy Azelia:
Happy Monday, weirdos, and happy almost-May.
"There may be more beautiful times, but this one is ours." -Jean-Paul Sartre
Monday, March 3, 2014
The millennial generation gets a lot of flack for being self-involved and overly dramatic and lazy. Again, I blame Twitter. 140 characters makes broadcasting the drama of your existence to throngs of followers easy. Don't get me wrong -- I love Twitter. It's my social media of choice. Validating my narcissism in only 140 characters and I don't even have to leave my bed? Yes please. I am, evidently, the poster child of the millennial generation. Please love me.
But here's the deal, on Twitter, there's a tendency, as with all social media (and this is something I incessantly blog about (here & here), apparently) to make your life look beautiful and great, and even when there are those horribly sad and dramatic tweets, they're this tactic of being like, "My life is complicated and interesting just like I am a complicated and interesting human being." But blogs are a whole 'nother story.
Right as I thought blogs were dying once and for all, they started to come back. Everyone's on Tumblr or Blogspot or Wordpress, and you can usually find the link to their personal blog in their Twitter bio. Blogs are back, and they're here to stay. I swear to you, every single day I see someone new tweet something about "I got a blog!!! Go follow it and see the adventures of my life!" But here's where things sort of go awry: These blogs seem to be less life-glorifying and more real-live honesty. I know it's true for me, at least. I would like you people to look at my Instagram and be like, "Ah, she's so pretty and chic and fearless," or go through my Twitter and go, "Ah, she's so clever and cool and wise," and I make sure that the only things you see there are things that wouldn't ever make you think anything differently, but here? On the blog? Shiz gets real. I'm scared of the dark. I feel lonely and lost a lot. I don't do my hair. I wear sweats.
You people all have these blogs where instead of trying to be funny or look pretty or sound cool, you're sitting down and writing honestly about what it feels like to get your heart broken for the first time and what it feels like to graduate from high school or what it means to fall in love or how you feel about your best friends or why you're being angsty this week. It's amazing. Blogs, somehow, produce an honesty that I can't find anywhere else in the cyberworld. I mean, sure, we all still life-glorify and vie for attention, but blogs are different. They're special, and somewhere in between your pictures of your wedding and your vague, dramatic post about who-knows-what, two amazing things have happened:
1.) You have discovered that your feelings are valid, and
2.) I have started to genuinely care about your feelings, because I feel the same feelings.
And that's what I love about blogs. All of this crap the millennials get is, sure, in some way valid, but also it's kind of amazing. Suddenly, we have this generation who is going, "My feelings are valid! My sadness is allowed! My joy should be celebrated!" and then I read your blog and go, "Hey, my feelings are valid, too! My sadness is allowed, too! My joy should also be celebrated!" We're this amazing generation that really loves itself and then blogs give us this incredible outlet to broadcast that love, that validity and people read them and feel less alone because they feel those things, too.
Alan Cohen, who's the guy behind those Chicken Soup for the Soul books, said, "Wouldn't it be powerful if you fell in love with yourself so deeply that you would do just about anything if you knew it would make you happy? This is precisely how much life loves you and wants you to nurture yourself. The deeper you love yourself, the more the universe will affirm your worth. You can enjoy a lifelong love affair that brings you the richest fulfillment from the inside out." And he's totally right. Loving yourself, feeling that you are this valid, wonderful being is the number one way to be fulfilled and blogs are this cool, weird, wonderful step in that direction!
So, no: I don't think you're all amazing writers, no offense. And I don't expect all of you to think I'm an amazing writer, either (even though I'd like you to think I am because again, I'm the millennial generation poster child and also because I'd like to make a living doing this (please buy my book someday)). But the point is, I LOVE YOUR MELODRAMATIC BLOGS. I LOVE YOUR OUTFIT OF THE DAY BLOGS. I LOVE YOUR LIFE ADVENTURES BLOGS. They matter to me so much. Your feelings are valid and I'm just so obsessed with all of you for discovering that because I think it's just a healthy and generally awesome thing to discover.
So keep bloggin', babes. You're all the coolest.
"I like the feeling of words doing as they want to do and as they have to do." -Gertrude Stein
XOXOXO x infinity,
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Hey, weirdos, it's me: Coming at you live from my bed, having just cleaned the bathroom and managing not to do laundry for the millionth day in a row. I am clearly handling adulthood brilliantly. I am the envy of the modern world.
I've officially been in school for four days (go me!) and I've learned loads. Allow me to enlighten you.
Some Stuff I've Learned Since I've Been Back At School:
1.) lots of French curse words
2.) the "pigeon hole" concept in maths
3.) how to pull a hamstring
4.) how to nurse a pulled hamstring
5.) that not having any classes before 12:30 pm is the best thing in the whole world
6.) the fact that everything I thought I knew about writing essays is apparently wrong
7.) that Ernest Hemminway was a brat
8.) how to apologize to a girl who hates you
It's been an eventful few days, basically.
I also discovered another thing, and I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and it's this: I think perhaps the defining trait of writers is an understanding that writing is truly the only thing they can do with their lives, even if they are capable of other things. Writers seem to understand the sense that having to write, for some reason, is inevitable. I've felt it since the fifth grade.
I went to my new creative writing class (it's three hours and fifteen minutes long (!!) and I'm so jazzed about that) and my new instructor was surprised when I told him it was both my second workshop class and my second semester in school, and he asked how long I'd been so "seduced by the thought of being a writer." The truth is I've been seduced by the idea of it my whole life and when I told him that he laughed and said, "Aren't we all?" And it's true. There's this sense that like, I could go to law school or I could be an actress or I could study architecture, but also that I can't. This is the only thing I can do or I'll just burst or something. And I don't know, maybe that's a very normal thing that everyone in the whole world feels about their specific career or life path and that writers just talk the most. That sounds like a very plausible thing.
There's this brilliant essay by Joan Didion called "Why I Write," and she ends it saying this: "...This 'I' was the voice of no author in my house. This 'I' was someone who not only knew why Charlotte went to the airport but also knew someone called “Victor.” Who was Victor? Who was this narrator? Why was this narrator telling me this story? Let me tell you one thing about why writers write: had I known the answer to any of these questions I would never have needed to write a novel." So I'm pretty obsessed with that.
In other news, I miss my BFF soul twin sister baby Kaitlyn Lindley a lot this week. She was the queen of bloggers and we wouldn't be friends if it weren't for some weird pre-teen blogs we both kept. She's out slayin' it on an LDS mission in Philly and I miss her and her letters make me laugh always. The last one she sent me has a very long paragraph in all caps about how we used to eat frosting out of the container "even though that is so bad for our arteries."
I guess what I'm saying it that I'm still learning to deal with change. I still think a lot about what life was like when me and Kaitlyn and Avery ran the world and high school happened and how my entire universe was encapsulated inside of a little valley in Utah. I've never been great at change, and that's something I'll freely admit, so sometimes I think about how I packed up my entire life (almost 6 months ago now!) and moved to the other end of the country, and how that was just such a wild thing to do, but also it was something (sort of like writing) that I've known for my entire life that I was going to do. I can't help but be struck almost every single day by the fact that everything happens for a reason and I wouldn't go back or change it or do anything differently even if I could. There's an old Arabic proverb that is just "What is coming is better than what is gone," and I think about that a lot, because it's true. Life is about loving where you are, or you'll turn into a pillar of salt, probably.
Anyway, I guess that's about it for today. Have a happy weekend. And also enjoy this super cool song by my favorite rapper, Stromae, who's this Belgium dude who everyone's gone (understandably) nuts about lately. French rap forever.
Okay, wait you need a couple more from Stromae because he's my number one jam.
That's all. Bye, guys.
Oh, wait, happy Super Bowl weekend. Go... team. Yay sports. I have to care about this because the Super Bowl is coming to New York City (or, really, New Jersey (ugh)) and everyone here is 1000000% crazed about that and I love New York the most, so I'm also being thrilled about the world series of football because it's like my duty as a New Yorker or something -- and yes, I am a New Yorker; don't pull the whole Sex and the City, "You have to have lived in New York for 10 years to call yourself a New Yorker," because that's lame.
Okay, now we're actually done. Over and out.
"Art is what you can get away with." -Andy Warhol