Posts Y'all Like

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Going home

Well...isn't it kind of funny that right after I said I don't want to blog too much, I become a blogging machine? Haha--it will pass, so no worries. Sometimes I just get into these writing moods, similar to how I sometimes get into reading moods and consume 6 books in a week before it abruptly ends and I'm back to carrying around the same book for a couple of weeks before finishing it. Right now, I'm experiencing both at once, which is a real adventure! Whether I feel like writing a lot or none at all, I always know I'm far better at expressing myself through the written word than I could ever hope to be through speech. It's not that I'm socially awkward (okay, I have my moments but really I'm quite comfortable in public), but I always end up feeling backed into a corner when talking to people, even my friends, whereas in writing, what comes out jumbled up out loud is instead expressed and understood correctly when I write.
Writing has been a big part of my life since I can remember...I guess since I learned how to write in the first place. When I was about 10 years old, I had to spend one long summer day at my Dad's office, and in that time I wrote a 15 page short story that my Dad raved over--until he got to the (pretty descriptive for someone so young) sex scene I felt was intricate to the story as it was part of the main couple's honeymoon. Really, all I remember personally about my story was that I had correctly used the word "mused". My Dad deleted the entire story without printing out a single copy, and to this day I feel like he could have just deleted out the unsavory part of the story, which fell at the end anyway and wouldn't have been missed. I know that he now regrets his rash decision, because as he tells me now, once he was able to put that short, meaningless part out of his mind, he knew that I had a true gift of writing. No matter what my parents and I agree or disagree about in terms of my physical, mental and emotional health, they have always been my biggest supporters when it comes to my writing. To this day, my Dad will read something I've written--even just a short letter or the like--and proceed to shake his head and say, "I just don't know how you write like that". My biggest wish is that they can one day accept my past of eating disorders and cutting--accept, acknowledge, and respect--so they can read the stories I write about those things too. In my opinion, I write my best stories about these topics because they are so intricate to who I am today and what I believe--and must always remind myself--that I am strong enough to overcome. Even 9 years after all of my big issues starting rearing their ugly heads, they still waver between admitting my problems but believing them to be merely attention-getting techniques and maintaining complete denial that any of my problems every existed. And they have never--and I'm beginning to fear will never-- accept that they were part of the problem. I don't blame them--I don't blame anybody but myself--but I definitely think they exacerbated the situation and in some cases, got the ball rolling in the first place. Part of me knows this will always be a source of contention for us, while the other part fervently wishes they will acknowledge all the issues wholeheartedly one day. But I digress.
Writing isn't just one of my favorite activities or a means to blow off steam for me, but it also helps to refocus me on what is most important in my life when it is sometimes so easy to forget. Though I like being an adult, it does tend to easily become monotonous very quickly. In my day to day of work, sleep, cleaning...and other boring tasks...there are times when I get angry with my friends and snap at them for little to nothing; worse still are the times when I get so caught up in my current project that I don't think about those who have stuck by me the longest for days. DAYS. If somebody had told me my brain would be capable of that 2 or 3 years ago, I would have either laughed in your face or slapped you for even thinking such a thing could be possible. These people are, in large part, the entire reason I'm alive. They are the reason I still even want to be alive a lot of the time. If you think I'm being melodramatic, don't. They have pried razor blades from my hands, forced me to sit and talk instead of throwing up a meal, held me close when I felt nothing could keep my sanity intact. If angels really do walk among us, my best friends are some of the best. For me to just simply tune out the memories, the need to call and hear their voices, makes me hate growing up most of all. These are the people I used to have the privelage of seeing and talking to everyday, and now I see them a couple times a year at most. It is so unfair. Honestly, I don't particularly want to be rich, but I would like to have the money to go see my friends whenever I want to.
Really, I want to be living in Mississippi again, even though I am well aware that it won't be like college and everybody has way too many adult responsibilities to just play all the time. Who cares? I don't party like I used to, nor do I have the remote desire to do so. It would be nice to go out to a bar once in a while, but only if I could still have as much fun as I used to have...and I doubt it would be like that. Ugh...I didn't intend for this blog to be a bunch of whining. The thing is, I'm incredibly lucky--I have a full time job and I'm good friends with the people I work with. My parents are close by, so I never have to worry about not having money for food or how screwed I would be if my car gave out. My house is absolutely incredible, and I'm very aware that I've gotten a huge bargain in living here. There's always a million books to read, and that's one of my favorite past times. I do have incredible friends here, and I didn't think it would be this easy to make a whole new set of friends in my childhood hometown.
Selfishly, I miss calling people at 3 AM because I'm panicking about something stupid and only they can calm me down. Driving home from work the other day, I had a panic attack thinking of everything I was missing and almost didn't make it home. I want to be able to make the 2 minute drive to Lauren's apartment when I need a friend to cry with. I want to be able to go to any gas station in town and have a friend there. I want to have roommates like Kristin and Elise...really, I just want to live with them again. When I did, not a day went by that I didn't feel like I learned something--even if it was random--because we always had conversations that veered in multiple directions and encompassed everyting on our minds. I miss talking about all things psychological with Kristin--nobody here appreciates it in the least. Sometimes, I get sick of explaining every term and behavior and treatment...and I want to go back to a time when I didn't have to. When I lived in Oxford, I never took it for granted. I knew what I had, and how wonderful a time and place it was. Instead of wishing for it to go faster once many people do as they near their college years and look forward to the future, I often wanted time to stop completely. Because I knew once it was over, that was it. So even though I know I didn't take it for granted, now I realize I did in little ways. I knew it would end, but it didn't feel that way. My memories are amazing, but I want to make new ones with the same friends and in order to do that I either have to win the lottery and visit them whenever I want, or move there. In order to move there, I have to secure student loans and placement in grad school...and that's much easier said than done. Plus, I'd have to find a pretty good job there too so I could support myself while in school. I love Chattanooga--I really, really do--but it feels like a piece of my heart is missing here. A big part. Even as I continue to fall in love with my house...I just want to go home, and that is in Mississippi.
I want to go home.

20 Random Facts about if people don't already think I'm odd

1) I have thought about becoming a vegetarian on more than one occasion. I love fruits and vegetables way more than I like steak or most meats. My reason against becoming one every time? McDonalds chicken nuggets. Seriously.

2) I can't stand for my bathroom to be in the least bit dirty. Even when I was way more disorganized, my bathroom was always crazy clean. Other people's bathrooms totally gross me out if they are messy at all, but I don't say anything about it. I don't know why a clean bathroom is such a big deal to me--I'm not overly weird about germs--but it's always been my thing. Maybe it's because my parents used to send me to the bathroom when I mouthed off (really, it's brilliant if you think about it--what the hell are you going to do in the bathroom as opposed to your bedroom where all of your favorite things are?) and I spent a lot of time in there since I couldn't ever keep my mouth shut.

3) I am a complete and utter klutz. Not a day goes by that I don't run into something I should be totally aware is in my way. I often wake up to find oddly shaped bruises that I have no clue as to where they came from. This was particularly bad in college, where large quantities of alcohol led to concerned questions the next day. For a while, I really think some of my coworkers thought I was in an abusive relationship, when really...I'm just a moron.

4) Fireplaces are a big love of mine. The first thing I noticed, and fell in love with, in my new place was the fireplace. Almost every night after work, the first thing I do is turn on the fireplace and it stays on until the moment I decide to go to bed. I'm always afraid I've unknowingly left it on, but even my worry doesn't diminish my love of it.

5) Sweets are almost never my go to snack, but when I'm in the mood for them I want every kind possible right then. If I eat chocolate, I have to have something fruity like skittles or lemonheads to offset it. Typically, I crave salty foods (especially chips), but occasionally the sweet tooth rears its ugly head.

6) I'm a complete and total movie junkie, and my collection is both big (and always being added to) and random. For instance, my front row of movies at the moment includes the clique, ted bundy, hook, raising helen, pi, whip it, the runaways, terms of endearment, and speed--among others. I have a hard time going into Wal-Mart for groceries without buying at least one movie, but I almost never buy a movie when it first comes out (hello--why spend almost $30 when that can buy me 5 movies from the $5 bin?). Harry Potter is one of the only movies I buy as soon as the new one is released--and I plan to also get Black Swan ASAP once it's out. Chances are, I'll watch any movie once, and if anybody ever needs a movie date, I'm your girl.

7) Books are my other major obsession, which should be no surprise considering I work at a bookstore. When I was younger, my parents go to thing to take away from me when I seriously misbehaved was non-school reading. I was almost never grounded from TV or video games, because those were not nearly as earth shattering to me as not being able to read. My taste in books is not really limited to any genre, and in fact, I prefer to switch genres after each book (or maybe 2). Rarely will I read the same author consecutively, and I usually read something funny (like Janet Evanovich) followed immediately by something dark, depressing, or generally off the wall (like Ann Rule, Wasted, or The Giver). Occasionally, I will get on a biography kick and read 3 or 4 in a row, but it happens pretty rarely. I don't like giving new genres or authors a shot, but generally I give up on them pretty quickly if I'm not drawn in. To the best of my knowledge, I've only read one Christian Fiction book, and that was Left Behind--it's the one genre that never seems to really spark my interest.

8) I love my cats, Copper and Karma, like they are my actual flesh-and-blood children. They have more treats than any animals could ever need, and they know all of my deepest, darkest secrets. If I make spur of the moment plans, I always worry that they will feel abandoned. I would love to get more kittens, but I fear that people are already beginning to regard me as a crazy cat lady. Also, they are my most photographed subjects--though Copper is a picture whore and Karma seems to hate having her picture taken. She's so vain--what a typical girl. Both are rescues, and they both seem to totally understand that they were pulled from the precipice of death. They annoy the hell out of me every single day, but I couldn't imagine my life without them.

9) If I could buy anything I wanted without having to think about money, I would buy 2 Jet Skis in a heartbeat, even though I've only been on one a handful of times. There is just something about them that I'm totally obsessed with, and of course I'd have to get 2 so I could race people.

10) My car is always a total mess, with at least 7 empty bottles of some varation of diet soda, 3 half read books, a couple of random movies, kitchen appliances, clothes and hangers (though the clothes are rarely actually on the hangers), receipts, broken down boxes, drawers, and the like crammed into a tiny Honda Civic. Though I've become somewhat of a neat freak in my house and at work, my car never stays tidy for long--if indeed the mood ever strikes me to clean it out in the first place. I'm aware that the added weight is a killer on my gas mileage, and people always get frustrated if they have to ride with me, but then again there's rarely a time when I'm not without a change of clothes, a snack, something to read or watch, and a mixer for the liquor. It drives my parents insane--and actually that may add to the appeal.

11) I get paranoid about the most random things at the most ridiculous times, like if I left the water running in the sink when I left for work or if my cats found a way to open my kitchen cabinets and broke all of my shot glasses. I annoy the hell out of my friends because I always, always think I forgot to lock the door to my house, left the garage door open, and left my lights on in my car. Many times I've had to text my roommate and have them check to see if all is well at home. Though this trait annoys the hell out of me, it's been my habit for as long as I can remember.

12) I am fascinated by serial killers, the Holocaust, and other strange things. In no way am I impressed by them, nor do I want to emulate them in any way. It all stems from the fact that I am intrigued by the most severe depravity of the human spirit and believe society as a whole can learn alot by delving deeper into the causes of such tragedies. Many people are freaked out by the fact that I have a favorite serial killer--Ted Bundy--and they fail to ask me why. To me, he represents a true sociopath--so charming that he had a girlfriend who never suspected a thing for the majority of his killing years. I think we can become our best person only if we understand the worst of people. Also, sometimes I like to read books with strange themes in them--like incest in the Flowers in the Attic series. It grosses me out, but by the end of the series, I found myself rooting for the brother and sister to be together (I'm not the only one who thought that way when reading the series either). I love psychology (and it is what I have my degree in), so I think I just like to know about how completely nuts people can be.

13) Maybe because of my eye problems (I'm blind in the left one), I am very in touch with my other senses--but only sometimes. When I'm especially tired, it sometimes seems as though my other senses disappear; otherwise, they are unusually heightened. I notice is most in my sense of smell, and particular scents can completely, almost instantly, change my mood. I can smell a boy from a mile away, and I can usually tell what somebody is cooking long before anybody else. My hearing only seems to be heightened when it can annoy me, and I hate the sound of people chewing so much that I can only sit and each with them if we are at a restaurant with a lot of outside noises.

14) I hate snow and pretty much always have. I would much rather go to school or work than even have an inch of snow on the ground. For the past 2 years, every single time it snowed, I somehow got stuck because of it. Last year, I had to walk with my friend over half the length of the ridge due to snow, and this year I got stuck in my house for 2 days and out of it for 3 because of one snow storm. My only pleasant snow memories are from the blizzard of '93, but that was because I was 7 and was expected to like the snow and because I wasn't as sensitive to being cold back then.

15) I have very vivid dreams, almost always in color, and they are usually about the last person I talked to or thought about for any reason. I never just have the falling dream and wake up right before hit, but instead I always hit the ground and then proceed to dream about my funeral--and typically wake up very sore the next day. My dreams are so realistic that I have woken up sweating, screaming, bleeding, you name it...on more than one occasion. I'm always afraid of what I might say out loud when I'm asleep because I have such weird dreams.

16) I hate olives, especially black ones, and think they taste like gasoline smells. Sometimes, if they are particularly pungent, I have to leave the room.

17) I used to resent the fact that I was made to get a job when I was only 15 years old, but I have since learned to love it. Now, I love to work like most people my age love to party, and if I have more than a day off work without specifically asking off for it, I genuinely miss it. That being said, when I need a break, I become a total bitch out of nowhere and want to be done with work right then and there. By the next day, however, I'm ready to be working again. Despite my messed up back, I really don't ever want a desk job. When I do one day realize my dream of being a therapist, I believe I'll spend most of every session on my feet.

18) I hate wearing clothes to bed, even though I detest being cold and fear one day I'll sleep walk naked down the street and totally freak everybody out. Generally speaking, I don't like to be naked--but I hate the feeling of waking up twisted in clothes more. My robe is always close by when I sleep, just in case there is a sudden fire or other occurence that causes me to have to quickly exit the house.

19) Coffee and soft drinks are two of my favorite things, but it takes me a very long time to drink them. I've been known to carry around the same 20 oz. bottle of Diet Coke for three days. Also, I don't mind (and almost like) warm soft drinks but don't like for my coffee to get cold--but for some reason can only bring myself to reheat my coffee at home and never in public.

20) You would be hard pressed to find me without stationary, books, pens, Sharpies, something to study, and my makeup at any given time. Though Id rarely find occasion to use any of them, it freaks me out not to have these things with me. I also almost rarely chew gum but hate when I don't have any with me.

While I wait for Spring...

1) The rest of the world is asleep. My schedule is almost completely opposite from the rest of the world, but mostly I don't mind. I thought this color blue was remarkable.

2) After a long night at work, I come home to this. What a precious little fur baby.

Monday, February 7, 2011

What a beautiful place to call HOME

1) Walking through the front door. I love the antique clock...and Colonel Reb hangin' out. JSYK, I have Ole Miss stuff everywhere. I have really been missing Oxford, so I'm trying to cover all my bases to not get sad
2) (To the right of picture one) The living room. It's very open and comfortable.
3) (On left again) The kitchen with a peek of the kitchen table
4) Looking to go out the front door--I love my kids!

So, as everybody probably knows, I moved into a house at the end of November. Everybody should also know that I work in retail, so while for my well being that was most definitely the best wasn't exactly the best timing in terms of actually having the time to do anything besides sleep and shower in my new home. Well, it's February now, and I've finally gotten some time to make it more my own place. Granted, having "time" means I still didn't get a lot of sleep for a couple of weeks, but oh well. Everything is clean and organized (who knew I would turn out to be so ridiculously organized??), and while it is a bit Spartan in appearance, I am not a bit worried. Friends, my house is adorable. I love the antique look, and this definitely fits that description, but it has modern touches and I've started to make it very Kelly-esque. So, you know, pink. Copper and Karma love it here too, and other than always trying to get outside (and I can't blame them--the backyard is pretty enchanting even though I have started shaping it up yet), they have caused any problems. Other than the house, my life is pretty routine. Work has slowed down a little bit, but what with training and new management at the corporate level, it is always entertaining and it most definitely keeps me busy. Since I love work, this works out well for me. I'm currently reading 5 books right now, or trying to seeing as how I've been busy fixing everything how I like it in the house and working as much as I can, and trying my best to follow through with my letter writing plan. So far, I haven't been very consistent, but I'm getting there. My problem isn't with writing the letters--oh definitely not. It's that once I start my short, sweet letter has turned into a chapter book and 2 hours have passed. Who is actually surprised that I have a lot to say in any capacity? My friends are incredibly amazing people, and have literally as well as figuratively saved my life many times over, and I'm a strong believer in telling people how much they mean to you as often as you can. Perhaps that's the way I am naturally, or maybe it's because my mother battled cancer and broke her neck all before I entered my teen years. As we all know, life is short--so why not tell your friends you love them and why? At least I've gotten better about not being quite as sappy about it. It's not that I think every conversation should end with a lengthy discussion of the virtues of friendship, but every once in a while, you should remind people why it is that that quick "love you" at the end of each phone call isn't merely cursory but rooted in something real.
It was my desire to remind the people in my life how wonderful they are that started this particular journey into letter writing, but it isn't the beginning of it all. For one thing, I've always loved letters in the way I love old books; there is a history--whether you are in the know or not--in the very pages of what you are holding. Of course, I completely fell in love with the idea of writing letters as I was about to leave for college and, while packing up my belongings in the clutter that 18 years of youth brings, my mother stumbled across a box of letters from when she was in college (at Ole Miss, naturally). Reading through them was really cool for me, but her eyes lit up as she carefully read each one for the first time in probably a decade or more. After finishing each one, she'd hug it close as she told a story that had been brought back to her attention because of something seemingly inane in that particular letter. The care she took as she placed them back in their box for safekeeping really made me view them as she did--treasures. Facebook had just been invented and I had set up an account immediately (you know, back when it was just for college students...and only if your school was on the list), and I had my new Ole Miss e-mail plus my cell phone so I knew keeping up with my friends woudn't be an issue, and wasn't the same. On a side note, I love technology and would be a bit lost without my trusty FB page and especially my cell phone, so I'm not hating on it in the least. There are many e-mails that I've saved over the years and completely cherish, and I'm grateful that even now, after college, I am so easily able to tell somebody instantly that I miss them or the like. Still, as much as I appreciate those e-mails, I think it probably would mean that much more if it were in letter form. If I printed off an e-mail, it wouldn't hold the same clout--in my mind--as holding something that a friend of mine handwrote and really thought about before sending it off to me. Plus, I have over 4000 unread e-mails in my yeah. Also, I have about 14 (no exaggeration) voicemails that I haven't listened to on my phone--if you need me, just call again or text!
Anyway, it was after that session with my mom that I totally fell in love with the idea of writing letters to my friends...and promptly failed. Hey, I was 18 and heading off to college--clearly getting laid (check), drinking every mixture of liquor imaginable (double check--still hurts to think about), and making new friends (it's kind of funny that I only talk to all of my freshman year college friends on FB and kind of drifted away from them) were way, WAY more important. I'm only half kidding here--I actually do think it's important to really experience college to learn anything, even if some of that stuff totally sucks later (or at the time if you happen to be trying to mix liquors and bitch beers to match the color of your lighter and realize that's actually a really bad idea as you are projectile vomiting in a frat house)--you certainly do learn. Naturally, letter writing got the axe pretty early on into my first week at school. Something tells me I actually did write a couple, but nothing that made a huge impression obviously. For sophomore year, I moved out of the dorm and into my Nannie's house in Abbeville and actually did get better about the letters; once living back in Oxford, however, I promptly discarded it again. Apartments, parties, new friends (these I actually do keep up with and a few are on my letter writing list), classes I cared about because I had discovered my love of psychology, working over 30 hours a week in addition to school--this time it was pretty understandable that letters didn't remain a priority. Still, I think a part of me missed them because once I thought of trying to start it up again this time, I got way more excited about it than ever before. There are also far more people on my list now, so that definitely drives up the excitement level. And yet, I made this plan at the beginning of January, and though I've started many letters to multiple people, the only one I've sent was to Erika--and that was prompted by her thank you card for her lingerie shower. So, what's my problem, right?
A big part of it stems from the fact that, because I've been so awful about keeping up with it in the past, every letter I send out becomes a huge deal and even I lose interest reading it after the fifteenth example of why so-and-so is and epic human being. The beauty of my mom's letters (or part of the beauty) was that everything went into them, so some were long and emotionally written and others only really talked about how the person's week went and how delicious the sandwich they had on Wednesday tasted. Now, of course, stamps have gotten pretty expensive to be a piece of paper that happens to be sticky on the back, and since my funds are--as always-- pretty limited, I actually do have to pay attention to what I'm saying in my letters. It's a vicious cycle, really. Nonetheless (totally one of my favorite words--no idea why), I really want to try and follow through this time. Knowing this, I set a goal of writing 4 letters a year to about 10ish friends--totally theory. In addition to the content, there's my knowledge that I really do want people to write letters back to me so I can save them for decades, but I didn't want to pressure anybody so when I told my friends about my idea, I was very casual in my desire to get letters in return. And since it's my idea to begin with, what if nobody gets around to writing back? Oh, le sigh.
Here we are again! When I started this blog, I really, truly thought all I wanted to do was put in a little blurb about my house and put up a few pictures...and look at what it's become. I really do love writing a ridiculous amount...maybe too much sometimes. Since I've started it though, I may as well keep on procrastinating on my letters and, you know, on sleep. Knowing me, I probably discussed this before, but this year I decided not to make resolutions but just kind of a hodge podge list of things I want to try at some point--trust me, I'm far more likely to do at least something new this way. Once I started making a list, I realized there are quite a few random things that I want to do at some point--surprise, surprise--so the list became kinda long. Writing letters was one of them...and I've gotten pretty much nowhere on the rest. In my defense, a lot of them are outdoor activities, and it is positively freezing outside at any and all hours. We had that snow storm for one thing, and I was snowed in my house for two days...and then snowed for three after that (work came and got me in a 4 wheel drive and getting back up wasn't an option until the snow had melted or else I'd be stuck again)--so running, hiking, planting flowers, star gazing and the like will have to wait until spring. I have started taking more pictures, but I'm just getting used to remembering I actually own a camera at this point, so mostly the pictures have been of bigger events (Erika's bachelorette, New Years, New House) and not of the little things. At least I'm getting there on that one. Cooking more will hopefully be a reality soon, because my kitchen stuff is pretty much all set up and I'm getting used to my rent schedule, plus I really want to make myself smoothies and put things in the crockpot (this reminds me: I'm getting old--I sort of started to realize this after I asked for a vaccuum for my birthday...and freaked out in total joy when I got one, in pink no less; now, I realized I don't care--smoothies and crockpots are awesome)...and I think I can handle the cooking more part since my diet consists of Ramen noodles and Sweethearts candy. I love fresh fruits and veggies, but why do they have to be so expensive? The fact that the US government is so stumped over the obesity problem has to be a joke--how do they not realize that organic (and even non-organic, natural) food is crazy expensive and I'm pretty sure the majority (if not all at this point) fast food places have dollar menues? Don't be confused as to how a truly poor person could get to be 100 pounds overweight; be confused at the fact that you are helping to run our country but can't figure out this stumper. Hopefully, in addition to pretty flowers, I'll plant some veggies in my backyard too (really, cucumbers and tomatoes would make me feel pretty awesome at life) and then I can use those to cook fresh stuff when I just can't afford to buy them anywhere else. So, I have hope for the cooking thing. Using other means of expression, like cooking somebody their favorite dish, to express how much you care will probably go hand in hand with the cooking thing. I wanted to fix the tires on my bike to ride it again, and so far I've rescued it from my parents taking it to charity...and that's it. Of course, it's been cold as I said. Come spring, I hope I have the same enthusiasm as I do now.
There are a few other ones, mostly just fun and not too terribly serious, but one that I forgot I wrote but now is important to me is letting myself cry--and I have pretty much failed at this one too. The thing is, crying used to be nothing for me. If anybody said anything that could be twisted into something mean or hateful, I'd do it--and cry like it was my full time job. Even during all my eating disorder/cutting days, crying was not typically difficult for me. I've racked my brain, and I have absolutely no idea when I stopped being able to cry pretty much at all. It was a long time coming, no doubt, so I can't say it's surprising--but it is weird. When it comes to helping others or discussing their issues, I can cry just fine; when it's about me in any way, I just can't do it. Maybe years of practicing repression coupled with the fact that most adults I knew great up thought crying was either for sympathy or caused a scene started something years ago...and now I just simply don't cry (okay, it's rare that there are actual tears and it is related to me). At this point, it kind of both terrifies and fascinates me. This crying thing is definitely one I'm going to have to figure out.
So...hmmm. I'm pretty sure at some point in the last 20 minutes there were about 3 layers of procrastination occurring. Sa-weet! Fingers crossed: the ones I really want to make an extra effort toward are the letters, go hiking once it's warm , and actually remember that I have a camera and use it to take breathtaking pictures. I'd like to do all the things on my list, but that just isn't feasible...or at least if I start small, the world might come to me). Running and hiking are both on the list...but I want to enjoy these things...and after getting hit by that car, running hurts just a bit much. I'd like to really have a good time with running like I did over 8 years ago... but hiking sounds great and I'd like the company that seems more feasible on a hike. It totally cracks me up that last summer I was begging, pleading, for cold weather because of the whole not having AC in my car thing, and now I just want a tad bit of warmer weather so I can do all of these things I have planned. Plus, endorphins don't exactly suck. I must say I'm pretty disappointed in myself--and also not at the same time--that I haven't attempted to read a classic, suggestion, or reread a favorite book once a week...seeing as how I work at a bookstore and all. Well, I guess I kind of have been doing it, just unknowingly and not once a week. I'm not disappointed in myself completely only because I don't really have time to do that without really trying to and there are other things I'd like to read. Still, since suggestions count, I can say I've read a few--probably half the amount that I wanted to though. My mom finally finished the book I checked out from work for her, so I can get the book Room and start in on that one again (I truly detest starting a book and then having to stop, but my mom had been waiting on this other one for, quite literally, months so I relented and checked it out for her. Let's see--what other books have I been reading? OH! I'm rereading the entire Harry Potter series--again--so that is super fun. Marya Hornbacher wrote another book after Wasted (one of my all time absolute favorites) called Madness, and I got it on sale at work so that one is in the wings. I keep starting and stopping Interview with the Vampire, so I may have to set it aside for a while so I can get excited about it before attempting it again. The one I'm really, truly actively reading is My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews, which I had been hunting for months and finally found at McKay's for, no lie, a quarter. Seriously, I could not even attempt to order it through my work since there was literally no way to get it...and then, bliss. It's the little things really. After seeing Flowers in the Attic on Netflix, I totally had to read the book--I had no idea at that point in time that it was actually a series--and completely devoured it and the other four in about a week and a half. For some reason, it was one of those series I just had to own, so now I have all but the last one...and thus began my love of the oddity that is V.C. Andrews. Somehow, in getting to know the Dollanger family in Flowers, I found myself totally rooting for Chris and Cathy to eventually end up together in marriage...and they are brother and sister. V.C. Andrews wrote in such a way that you knew it was wrong, everything pointed to it being wrong...but it wasn't wrong for the particular people. So strange to find myself totally sucked it. I tried to start a couple of her other series and couldn't get into them, and then my friend Sarah from work told me about My Sweet Audrina. It is taking me forever to read the book--solely because my main focus has been cleaning up my house--but it is so twisted, so poignantly sad, and so good. Usually if I like a book I'm done within a couple of days, but occasionally I'll come across one that I enjoy reading slowly. The only other two that readily come to mind are Wasted (by the way, it's a memoir of anorexia and bulimia--people are always like, 'nah I don't want to read about drunk people') and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. It's her autobiography, and like but completely unlike V.C. Andrews, she writes in a way where you want to hate her parents, or at least slap them around and tell them to learn some responsibility...and yet you fall in love with them. If I ever became a published author, that's how I would want my books to be read. It can't be taught though...that really does come from within I think. Anyway, I honestly do want to read a lot of the classics, especially the ones I didn't even know about growing up. We have a bunch on clearance at work, and I bought Picture of Dorian Gray, but I haven't gotten to start it yet. I want to get to a place where I can hang out for a few hours, because it seems like a book that deserves that right from the start, but good luck with that. For voracious readers like me, I realize I'm the luckiest person ever to have the job that I do, and many of my favorite books have been customer suggestions. Sometimes, however, people will just ramble on and on tryingto convince me that I need to read such-and-such book...and I can just tell from the genre or author or writing style or so on that I will never, ever read the book, or probably even remember it after an hour. For some reason, I find this to be true for a lot of the Christian Fiction books. I'm a Christian, but at the same time I don't want anything shoved down my throat, and every book I've skimmed through seems to end during an actual sermon. Technically, I'm a Methodist, but I don't think I have to go to church to be close to God--and most of the people recommending these books to me look at me like some kind of heathen when I say that. Occasionally, I do enjoy church--it's interesting to hear sermons (especially when humor is involved) and to talk with others who, in theory, share similar beliefs as mine. But it is far more important to me to see and feel God everywhere, in everday things. I'll sit and have a conversation with God in my head (or out loud if I'm alone) as if I were talking to a friend--same mannerisms, same concerns, a little less cussing. I see God in sunsets and sunrises, in the way light hits a tree for just a second to make it appear to be glowing, in a hug from a friend, in grass between my toes in the summer (seriously, please hurry warm weather!!)...and usually in these things more so than I have ever, or probably will ever, feel or see in a church. If you believe God made the Earth, then He made these things and they are a church in and of themselves. But seriously, say that to some people. They may hit you, and if they don't they certainly want to. I feel this way about most things though; the more you try to force your beliefs, genres, movies, restaurants, whatever on me, the less and less I want to listen. If we can discuss it rationally, then odds are I'll take a look at it and see if it interests me. Many people feel that way I think, so I have no idea why there are still so many who think they are going to sway you if they just keep on and on and on. The flip side of having books recommended to me, of course, is that I sometimes have people who ask me if I have any suggestions. Let me just tell you--the answer is always yes. Some people are pretty stuck on a genre that isn't my forte and just can't be convinced to try something new, but we have a true variety of types who work with me, so somebody will be able to help them. When people happen to be interested in genres and/or authors that I really like, I'm the happiest person in the world. By the way, I constantly mix up what kinds of books I read, partly because I just want to get to everything but mostly because I get bored if an author writes very similar stories in each book. Jodi Picoult and I have a love/hate relatioship because of that--I like her books, but after reading two, I have to take an extended hiatus because everything in her stories are so similar to her other works. Basically, if you want a suggestion for fiction, biography, true crime, select si-fi, teen fiction and, very rarely, romance...I can help you. I remember one woman in particular from last summer who came up and literally just chatted with me for a while (if you're interesting--I love this) and then asked if I could recommend something that was light and funny but didn't have really confusing plot lines that she could read in a day or slowly over a couple of weeks...and it was my dream scenario. My recommendation? Why, Janet Evanovich, of course. So she bought the first one after we chatted a bit more, and then I figured it was a 50/50 chance I'd see her again--okay 70/30--Evanovich is pretty awesome, but it would be within the week if there was a chance she'd come back. She had come late afternoon right before I left work for the day (during that 6 month period where I worked day shifts pretty much all the time), and at 9 AM she's the first one in the store when we open. She grinned at me and said, "You bitch" and then went to get the next 4 or 5 (she got more than just the next one for sure). Yeeeah, the One for the Money series currently has 16 books, with the 17th one due out this summer. Haha! I was just paying it forward from the sneak attack that got me started on that series. At any rate, on any given day I will talk to somebody about serial killers and/or the holocaust, kittens, the stupid amount of books "by" James Patterson, and so on and so forth. Clearly, I love talking and though I am stubborn (hello, Taurus), I will always listen to what other people have to say as long as they aren't obstinate about it.
Well, well, pretty much every blog I've ever written that's been more than a paragraph, this has turned into complete rambling...and that's how I like it. When I just let ideas flow naturally, pretty interesting (and diverse) stuff comes up. It helps that I like all the common interests that lend themselves to a lot of conversation--movies, books, I've come to realize that if a conversation lasts long enough, no matter what it is about, I will walk away knowing something I didn't know before or having a different opinion or viewpoint about something. Pretty much every day, there are those people who are rude to me--for all I know, it could be the day or something--and I always get the feeling (and sometimes, it is plainly obvious) that they look down on me because I'm "serving" them. Dream on--I'm educated, fun, and I also happen to need to make money. Those types of people don't really have true friends and all kinds of other problems I can only imagine, but it is hard to convince yourself of that when they are plainly mocking you because they think you aren't smart enough to realize what's going on. At that point in the conversation, I try to work in the fact that I do, in fact, have a degree (in psych, if it's relevant to tell them--and it almost always is). Oh man, the stuttering and blushing that goes on with those people at that point. It's so hilarious to watch...and I know they totally did it to themselves. Sometimes, as a human, I judge others too quickly or just in general, but I try very hard not to do that. I've had people come through my line and start making fun of the people in front of them as soon as they exit the store, and I don't say a word. Occasionally, people speak up, either to defend themselves or figure me out, and I just explain that there are many, many things about me that people could judge and since I don't want them doing that, I try not to either. Cue creepy guy--"What could they possibly judge? I love your hair, eyes, blah, blah, blah". Literally, people have asked me outright what peole judge me for, and I try very hard to be nice. Persistance gets me though. If I, like anybody else, doesn't want to tell you...I don't have to, and I've said as much before too. I'm polite, but I will let them know that isn't really any of their business....because it isn't. I remember one woman who came through my line probably within the first few weeks of me living back in TN. It was at the tail end of the summer, so I'm in a short sleeve shirt and you could see one of my cuts because of that. It kills me, but if I remember I try to put makeup over it before makes me mad that I have to seem ashamed, but questions get irritating. She casually asked me what happened and I responded with my normal reply of a car accident...and then she really went to town. "Oh wow, what kind of car hit you? I still don't understand what scratched you to make that. It looks like somebody sliced pretty bad...", and then she gave me that sympathetic, "I'm here if you need to talk" look--like I was going to tell her anything. I was appalled. SIDE NOTE: I absolutely abhor that look. If you don't know me, really know me, you haven't earned the right to give me any look at all, and most of all, one of pity. I don't need your pity, and I'm going to help you out and let you know that most people don't want your pity either. Pity is irritating--it accomplishes nothing except to let you know that they think you have done something wrong. I've been living with myself for nearly 25 years and with my struggles for almost 10--I do NOT need anybody to tell me what I should be doing about these things. Seriously--suck it. Aside from the occasional "bad seed" if you will, I actually like most of my customers and enjoy interacting with the public on a day-to-day basis. That just reminded me I have to work tonight and need to take a nap sometime today....later.
So! That at least provides insight into what kind of things I want to at least attempt this year. It's a pretty random list because, let's face it, I'm a pretty random person. Oh, another item on the list was to try and write for pleasure more. Besides my occasional rants, praises, and everything in between I put on here (and yes, I DO wish I blogged more, but I still maintain that it is so unbelievably unnecessary to write everyday, or usually every other day--especially when you apologize for "falling so far behind" into your duties and promise to write 75 new blogs to make up for it. Seriously, nobody cares. If you blog that much when you are around my age, it begins to get very stupidly monotonous. There are a few blogs that I read from time to time, and one I read every day if I get the chance (I don't want to step on any toes here though, so google Spohr blog if you want to read check it out), and with the exception of the one that I read every day (again, if possible), most people could sum up 5 blogs in one but want to feel self-important and therefore give us a virtual play-by-play of the day (or, you know, the tweaked version that makes them sound super busy, super important, super frazzled, and SUPER egotistical. I should stop though--really--because those are the ones that (unintentionally) keep me in stitches while also making me feel really smart and it's hard to beat that combination. I'd hate for people to stop writing, get lives, and take away some of my guffaw moments throughout the day...or really, I usually only get to look at them every couple of weeks but, by then, JACKPOT! Just to clarify, once more, this is not referring to the blog I told people to google-- THAT blog is always interesting to me, and uplifting, and very, very real. It's truly a good one to follow. But I digress. Mostly, I blog for myself. It's fun for me, occasionaly it's difficult but good to vent or wallow, and if people find it, that's fine, but I'm not actively seeking them out and directing them to it. And then getting all mad when people comment....oh dear. I will never put a link on any social networking site, because that's my perogative. Chances are, if you ask me online if I have a blog, I'd just say no. If you ask me in person, you'll usually find yourself here. I'm not hiding anything, because at 24 I'm not ashamed of my past or present (though I'm willing to bet the future's got some embarrassing things in store), but at the same time, I try to be respectful. For one thing, and the big reason it's not linked anywhere, a lot of people who went through some of my ordeals with me don't like to relive the moments (I don't blame them), so why point them in the direction of something where those tough times are discussed frequently. Also, breaking news, I'm not the only one who has lived through eating disorders or self mutilation, and I don't want people to feel that they were right or wrong in their own struggle. I typically try not to disclose too much, especially in terms of weight, etc. with the eating disorder, but sometimes I do or something seemingly innocuous can trigger something in somebody--and that is something I very much want to avoid--in anybody, anywhere--but it would be very difficult if I found out that somebody I cared about had stumbled into something better left avoided. On the flip side, I've had people in the past (not from here, but from way back when during the days of chat rooms) berate, pity, whatever me...and this still hurts--and I suspect always will to some degree. The worst (for me) is when people feel the need to scold me for either going through it (or putting my family through it!) in the first place, or for going about it the wrong way. People will say things like, "Well, I knew somebody who got down to seventy something pounds and had a feeding tube, so hers must have been worse than yours"...or something to that effect. Let me say it clearly. SUFFERING SHOULD NEVER BE A COMPETITION. That kind of mentality causes deaths. Every person's physical body is different, so any extreme it is put through will produce different responses to each individual body. When it comes down to it, these are all sicknesses of the mind, not of the body, and no matter how it is manifested on the outside, the inside still needs help. Mostly, I just wish society as a whole would learn what it means, and how to be, a little more sensitive. Being offensive gets you nowhere, and it can hurt so many along the way.
Oh, To Write Love on Her Arms day is Sunday, February 13th. TWLOHA is an organization that is very near and dear to my heart, not just because of my own struggles, but also because I believe they do wonderful things and can make a huge difference in how we view and treat addictions and so forth. Check out their website for the back story. I don't think they made up the days (the other is November 13th), but they haven't ever said anything negative about it so it's a great idea as far as I'm concerned. Many of my friends have written love on their arms for me (and others) and sent me pictures, and it always makes me feel very loved, respected, and honored. (Really, all the day entails is writing the word love on your arm--anywhere you choose on either arm--and representing for the day) It's a small gesture that speaks volumes to those who need it most. Occasionally, people will ask what it's for, so at least try to know enough of the story to honor its integrity. Last January, I had love tattooed on my left wrist (yes, that little detail is important to me) in red ink. I went against tattooing standards and had it inked facing me instead of to everybody else, and I spent a lot of time thinking how I wanted it done. Personally, I knew having it face me was more important than showing it off to the world. I want people to know about TWLOHA, especially if they want to give help or need it themselves, but the tattoo itself was very much for me. And it has completely done its job. I'm proud to say--it was one year in January (you figure it out--it's not just when I got the tattoo done). Also, I have 2 of their t-shirts, partly because they always have the coolest designs and what not. So, Sunday, 2/13/11.
Okay then. I think I have exhausted all of any possible topics for a little bit, so now I will finally show those house pictures I mentioned 23 chapters ago and then write a letter and take a nap. I hope everybody has a great week! :)

P.S. They loaded at the top and I don't feel like dragging them, which you know by now. Captions up top, too.