Wednesday, March 30, 2011


  I have always been the one to comfort people when they miss the past, saying things like, "The golden years are just beginning", and "Yes, that memory is great - but you'll make many, many more that are so much better!" I have always been the one trying to keep people's spirits up when it seems like the best is behind them. But today I'm realizing, as I do some days more than others, that sometimes it really does hurt that some things/people/memories will never come back.

  The worst thing about this is that most of the time, it's not that the people are dead or truly gone; it's not that you won't ever see them again. Most of the time, it's that some dynamic has changed. You're not as close as you were to another person. Something happened that makes it awkward or even painful to have the same kind of relationship that you did before. Sometimes you must settle for a lesser form of what you used to have with someone. Sometimes they change. Sometimes you change. Sometimes you just have to accept that although they still live and breathe, they are no longer apart of your life at all.

  Today, as I look back over what seems to be a graveyard of friendships, I feel a mixture of happiness for the good memories, sadness for the fact that I can never relive them, and anger over the things that divided us. I could go on and on about all the things I feel and all the ways that people have changed, but I'll suffice it to say that sometimes, it just hurts; and no amount of reassurance that the future will be even brighter can change that.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Debt and Cupcakes

  For some time now, I've been trying to establish credit. I work at KOHL's, so I started by applying for a store charge card. I was denied, so I tried several different places, and was denied everywhere (it's funny how people who have never had credit can't establish credit because they can't get a credit card...because they've never had credit!) I was finally approved at KOHL's because after working there for a year your manager can submit some paper work and get you approved. I've worked there for almost 2 years now.

  My card came in the mail yesterday, and I was weirdly ecstatic to have my "first credit card!" My starting balance was only $200, but it was more than I needed, so I was happy with it. I had a carefully developed plan to purchase a new summer wardrobe and pay the minimum balance each month so that I could establish credit, and to continue doing this each season until I had established good credit. However, I spent an hour and a half shopping after work today, and was so terrified to use my credit card that I only bought $28 worth of items! A white t-shirt, a black lightweight cardigan, and a book about how to make cupcakes that I've had my eye on for at least a month now. I saw so many things that I liked, but I'm telling you, I'm terrified to use the thing! Any tips on how to successfully use a credit card/establish good credit would be much appreciated =)

Me and "Crazy About Cupcakes"

  The book that I bought about cupcakes is called "Crazy About Cupcakes", and the thing is amazing! You can make kahlua and beer cupcakes, chocolate chip cookie cupcakes, cupcakes for every holiday and all different kinds of occasions (including 3 tier wedding cupcakes!), and fruit cupcakes! I have had an interest in cake decorating for a long time now, so I'm terribly excited about this book, as demonstrated by this picture;-)  So basically you can count on me to be making cupcakes virtually constantly now. Actually, that's a lie because I don't have an oven at school, nor do I have the money to constantly be buying supplies for cupcakes, because I'm saving for a car (as well as other wonderful life events! =D).

  On a final note, I'd like to ask that anyone who reads this contact me if they know of any cheap/reliable cars for sale! I am desperate to buy a car very soon! Thanks =)


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Somebody's Got to Be The Hero.

  I am now 100% certain that I believe with all my heart that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. When you're a kid (in America, anyway), you grow up associating romance with magic carpet rides, and randomly meeting a handsome stranger in the forest. Now of course, there are perfect, intoxicating moments in romantic relationships. I'm not sure a relationship can be healthy without feeling some sense of "magic" with your partner; and I'm not in any way writing a blog about the evils of Disney. However, I think that our culture puts an expectation on relationships that is unrealistic in light of the stark truth: People are broken, and thus have broken relationships.
  The more I watch and observe people's relationships, the more I think this fact is true. I used to think that some people/couples really had it all together. I've always thought I was falling short in some way when I had problems with my boyfriends, or with my family for that matter. I thought that I wasn't working hard enough or that if I searched harder and longer, I would one day find someone who was perfect in every way and made every day intoxicating and wonderful. I would wonder why my relationships never quite got 'there'. Lately, however, I've been shocked to find that relationships that I've admired have their own weaknesses that only the two involved are aware of. I've seen members of very strong couples cheat on each other, break each other's trust, simply lose interest, or finally just come out and say, "I took this too fast. I don't really love you." That whole perfection thing? It just doesn't happen. This isn't to say that people shouldn't work and strive to make their relationships good and fulfilling; I'm simply saying that putting such high expectations on relationships is sure to leave you disappointed. It doesn't matter who you're with.

  I've even put unrealistic expectations on my family life. I have felt so often that my family fell short of what a perfect family ought to be. I've felt so many times that I should just give up on my family because they are too messy and problematic to deal with. I am finally learning that many of my relationship problems stem from my own unwillingness to accept the people I am close to as imperfect people.

  If my mom were not so quick to jump the gun, if Gary would stay out of my business, if my dad wasn't so immature, if my sister wasn't so stingy, if my brother didn't have a bad attitude, if Jacob didn't hang up on me, if Brenna wasn't such a workaholic, if Hannah wasn't so moody about her sleep, WE WOULD ALL GET ALONG JUST FINE. I find myself with thoughts like these all too often. And too often, after an argument, I have been willing to throw relationships out the door, regardless of how important they are to me; all because they are not "perfect".

  I find also that some of my relationship problems stem from my own unwillingness to accept myself as an imperfect person. When I am in the midst of conflict, I, like most people, tend to view myself as the victim. All wrongdoings are justified because the other parties were "more wrong", and no apologies can be made until they are received. I was talking to a friend today who told me, "Pride is crap. In every conflict someone has to be the hero" (she got this from Dr. Phil =P hehe). These words really ring tue with me. Humility, like love, is something that I have always thought of as a weakness and am just now learning to perceive as a strength. It makes sense that being humble is the "strong" thing to do, since it is so incredibly difficult.

  Something else I would like to point out about relationships goes back to the first point I made about our expectations for relationships. I like to think that my relationships (especially one special relationship) will fulfill me. I look to one or a few people to make me feel "whole". Their opinions mean the world to me. Their acceptance means even more. If I am in any way slighted or rejected by one of those close to me, I feel like an incomplete person. This is something I have to work on. One thing that is detrimental to relationships is putting undue pressure on them. When you look to another person to fulfill you, you are certain to end up disappointed. People are just people. People get tired. People get sick. People get moody/cranky. People often come from backgrounds that are much different from your own. Some people are broken. People WILL disappoint you. When your fulfillment comes from something within (God, creative fulfillment, or even just self-acceptance), good relationships are easier to have, and really just the icing on the cake.
  In short, the point I am getting at is that relationships are so valuable. They are priceless in fact. They are not worth throwing away because of imperfection. I'd like to add that this does not apply to abusive relationships. If a situation is unsafe, you need to get away from it; however, I would advise everyone who reads this blog not to treat relationships as if they were disposable. Don't take the easy way out and throw something precious. It's not worth it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just One Of Those Days

"I've been dreaming of sailing away, I'll build a boat out of paper mache'." -
He Is Legend
"Sometimes, I just wanna build a raft and sail out into the middle of the ocean and stare at the sky until I die of starvation.
Wow, that was morbid."
- Kendra Forsythe

Monday, March 7, 2011

To Be Happy

  Every week that I'm at Shepherd, without fail, I get depressed. I'm not trying to say that I have 'depression' the illness or anything like that. It's not serious or something anyone ought to be too worried about. I like to blame it on the harsh flourescent lighting in my dorm room, but I think it's a combination of factors. I feel a bit lonely, for one. I have friends here, but they are busy people, as am I. Not one of us can drop everything we're doing to spend time with each other at any given moment. Another seemingly contradictory factor is the fact that there are so many people here. Sometimes, that can make a person even more lonely. I see so many people all the time, and I know only a very small percentage of them. Then there's the fact that BECAUSE there are so many people around, I'm not free to just do whatever I want to do; for instance, when it's warm, I like to go outside in a bathing suit and lay in the sun, but I would never think of doing that here. I'd feel much too 'on display'. Then there's just the fact that I miss my family, and I miss Jacob. This school is not where I want to be. It is not where my heart is, and when I'm alone here for too long, I'm bound to get gloomy. I'm not blogging about this because I just need something to blog about. I'm blogging about it because writing is genuinely therapeutic for me, and because I thought it might help to blog about something lighthearted; something that makes me happy.

  So, since there is so little in my present life to talk about in the realm of happiness, I think I'll refer to a happy memory. When I was 15, I moved into a little town called Warren, Texas. I loved the house I lived in. It was old with a wrap-around porch where my family installed a porch swing. The whole house had hardwood floors except for my room, which had nasty old blue carpet. So when we moved in I spent the afternoon with a pair of pliers tearing the carpet out by myself to reveal the rustic looking hardwood flooring beneath. My 'vintage' style decor went well with the room, and for the first time in my life, I had a room of my own (something I'd wanted since I was an eight year old).

  The neighbors were very friendly and all came out to meet us on the day we moved in. We experienced our first culture shock when we realized that the neighbors saw nothing wrong with wandering into our house any time of the day, and my mom eventually found it necessary to hang curtains up in the dining room so that our nosy neighbors wouldn't be able to look in at us while we were trying to eat dinner. I made friends out of my neighbors Bethany and Kyle, who were about my age. Bethany and I started taking walks together almost every day after she got back from school and telling me all of her dramatic stories. I could tell that she thought of me as naive and innocent, and liked to tell me her stories for shock value. I hated that she thought of me that way, but she was probably more right than I would have liked to admit.

At the school

  One of the best things about our new neighborhood was that if you walked down the road there was a junior high. Next to the junior high was an old, old, OLD high school. It sat like a time capsule from the 1950s (at least), unable to be torn down because of the risk of making airborne the asbestos within. My sister and I used to walk down to the old school and sit in the yard with a blanket and a picnic, or tea, or canvases and paints, or whatever else we decided to bring. We liked to get all dolled up before we went and take pictures. We'd talk about anything we wanted. We'd talk about our family if they were bothering us, gush about boys or talk about our boy dilemmas; but more often than not we would just goof off and laugh about God-knows-what.

  After a few years of living in Warren, I met Jacob. We met at a New Year's party and made eyes and smiled at each other the entire night, but not either of us said a word to each other. I texted him after we each left, and we started talking every day. Finally, one day he (very nervously) told me he liked me. I told him that I felt the same, and we decided to meet up at a park one afternoon. We just walked and talked for a couple hours. We were both very awkward and nervous, but I remember laughing and joking with him after not too long. He came over that night and we watched a movie together.

  Not too long after that night, he was officially my "boyfriend", and he started coming over close to every night to spend time with me. We walked down to the old school so very many times, and we decided to walk even further than that to discover a bridge. We used to walk to the bridge and sit there and talk and kiss and listen to music and even dance together. It was with Jacob and Kaitlyn that I actually went beyond the school to discover all the various, interesting parts of my little town that I'd never seen before.

  Then there were the nights that I'd go over to Jacob's house and we'd hang out in his room or on his roof. We'd randomly decide to go get pizza together and jump in the car and just go. This is a random memory, but it makes me truly happy: I remember our water was out at my house for the longest time, and Jacob offered to let me come over to his house and shower and hang out with him. I did, and in contrast with my choice between cold showers and boiling water to use in the bathtub, my showering experience at his house was the absolute best of my life. The water was so hot, and the pressure was just perfect, and I felt SO clean afterwards!

  I do consider that part of my life the happiest part of my (admittedly short) almost twenty years of life. It is a far cry from what my life is now. I now live in a flourescently lit dorm room, live 2,000 miles away from Jacob, have tons of stress from homework (and honestly feel buried beneath all my obligations), don't see my family except on the weekends, and my Mom and Dad aren't even together anymore. But I'm okay =) I truly believe that the best is yet to come, and that I can and will have happy memories like this again. I'm trying to get to the point that thinking of them don't depress me, but encourage me, and remind me that these memories were just the beginning of what is going to be a wonderful life.