Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Our Song

I remember what I was wearing the day I met J.

It was a random meeting and seemed to mean little at the time. It took 15 years for us to get together, and we weren't in contact for more than 12 of those years. When I thought of that day, I never understood why it was so clear in my mind. J. remembers that Tesla's "Love Song" was playing in the pool hall that day.

The first time I ever cried over a boy, it was to that song. I was in 8th grade, and he was the first boy I'd kissed. The video for "Love Song" was all over MTV then, and I had the typical angst of a 14-year-old girl, so it's not surprising that it made me cry.

A sample of the lyrics:

Love is all around you.
Love is knockin' outside your door.
Waitin' for you is this love made just for two
Keep an open heart and you'll find love again, I know.
Love will find a way.
Darlin', love is gonna find a way,
Find its way back to you.
Love will find a way.
So look around, open your eyes.
Love is gonna find a way.
Love is gonna, love is gonna find a way.
Love will find a way.
Love's gonna find a way back to you."

When J. and I started seeing each other in 2009, and he told me that song had always reminded him of me and the day we met, it was a bit strange. It was special that he'd thought of me over the years, but the memory I had of that song was so different than his. I wanted the song to be special to me, as it was to him.

I heard "Love Song" on the radio today, and I finally, FINALLY got it. Look at the lyrics; how could it not be our song? It took J. and I so long to figure out that we were meant to be together. We both had lots of other relationships, and both dealt with a ton of heartache. Somehow, we kept our hearts open, and love found a way.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Happy Hour

From Mental Floss: "Every Friday, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else's reply, whatever you want. On to this week's topics of discussion..."

1. What are some of your favorite children’s books/authors?

~ Dr. Seuss, of course. Shel Silverstein, especially the poem about the girl who won't take out the trash. The entire series of books that began with A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. Pretty much everything by Judy Blume or Carolyn Keene (author of the Nancy Drew books).

2. Tell us about one person who has no idea what an impact he or she had on your life.

~ This is a tougher question than I thought it would be. Several people had a huge impact on my life, but I'm pretty sure they know it. If I had to choose only one, it would be Beverly Sanders, the saint who masquerades as a middle school English teacher, who gave me the tools to get through some of life's worst spots.

3. Let’s pretend you’re a projectionist at a one-screen theater. You’re tasked with putting together a double-feature, but it can’t just be a film and its sequel. What are some creative double-features that would put ticket-buyers in the seats?

~ I don't know how creative it is, but I'd like to see some of my favorite movies paired up. Maybe "Clue" with "Time Bandits." Or a double dose of Monty Python: Holy Grail and Life of Brian. Or two Pixar movies - although which two would have to be decided that day. I love them all, so it would depend on my mood. Or, if I wanted the theater all to myself, two of my favorite so-bad-they're-good movies: "Anaconda" and "The Saint."

4. Your time as a projectionist was short-lived. Now you’re in the restaurant business! What kind of food would you serve, and what would you call your restaurant?

~ I'm going to open a diner called Carol's. We'll be open 24/7/365, and our front door won't have a lock. We'll have wonderfully bad for you food, served by waitresses who remind the old-timers of Flo. The staff and the customers will be like family, and we'll refuse service to anyone driving a car that costs more than a college education.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Attitude Adjustment

When I began writing this blog, I wanted a place to vent. I didn't really care if anyone read it; it was all for me. Since I'm frustrated to madness by most people, I called the blog "I Don't Need Anger Management...I need people to stop pissing me off." But in looking back at what I've written over the last six months, and in thinking a great deal about where my life has been, where I am right now, and what I see in my future, I've realized that's not me anymore.

There may still be plenty of occasions when I desperately need anger management, but I'm beginning to see myself differently. Between 2005 and 2009, I got kicked around by life. A lot. There were times I was in the lowest place a person can be, perilously close to giving up. I was in so much pain, I'd have given anything to go to sleep and not wake up. The only thing that kept me from attempting suicide is that things were going so wrong in my life that I believed I'd screw up the attempt and end up in even worse shape.

Somehow, I held on to hope. I think most of it was stubbornness. Things were SO. FUCKING. BAD. It had to get better. It just had to. And it did, eventually. I learned so many things about myself during that time, and even though I'm a big enough person to admit that some of them are things I'd rather not know, it's all a part of who I am.

I got through it. And look where I am now: married to the love of my life, close with good friends who love me, and working in a job I love for a great boss. There's a lot of love in that sentence, and in my life. I am happy. More than that, I am content. I went through so much awfulness. To get through it, and to believe that things would change, I'd have to be a glutton for hope.

Glutton: a person with a remarkably great desire or capacity for something

Hope: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best

So, am I "a person with a remarkably great capacity for the feeling that events will turn out for the best" ?

Yes. Yes, I am. Therefore, we are moving from to Stay tuned...


Thank you to RoseAnn for this one...

A. Age: 34 (for one more month)

B. Bed size: California king

C. Chore you dislike: All of them

D. Dogs: are better than people.

E. Essential start to your day: Coffee

F. Favorite color: Purple

G. Gold or silver: Silver or white gold - yellow gold looks awful against my skin and looks cheap to me

H. Height: 5'0"

I. Instruments you play(ed): Piano & cello

J. Job title: Administrative Assistant

K. Kids: None for me, thanks

L. Live: every day as if it were your last

M. Mom’s name: Linda

N. Nicknames: None

O. Overnight hospital stays: Only when I was 13 months old and having surgery on my feet

P. Pet peeves: Lack of manners, stupidity (not ignorance), arrogance, dishonesty

Q. Quote from a movie: "I'm not shouting! Alright, I am! I'm shouting, I'm shouting, I'm shout-!"

R. Righty or lefty: Righty

S. Siblings: None by blood, two older stepbrothers

T. Time you wake up: Early. On weekdays the alarm goes off at 5:15 but I often wake up around 5. With no alarm, it's shocking if I sleep past 6:30. Of course, I'm also in bed by 8:30 most nights.

U. Underwear: I'll decline to answer this one.

V. Vegetables you don’t like: Tomatoes, okra, cabbage...anything slimy

W. What makes you run late: I'm easily distracted, and always want to do "just this one thing" before I leave the house.

X. X-rays you’ve had: Dental, knees, ankles, thyroid (not exactly an x-ray, but similar)

Y. Yummy food you make: Lasagna, shrimp pasta, desserts

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Giraffes, big cats, bears

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Taking Stock

When I was in my mid-20s, I was complaining to my grandmother about how quickly time goes by. She smiled and told me to appreciate it, because every year goes by faster than the one before. I didn't quite believe her. Now, when I realize that my mid-20s were ten years ago, it's like a slap in the face. TEN. YEARS. How did that happen??? Since J. and I have been together, time has been strange. I think about the early days of our relationship, and these thoughts are both in my mind: "It's already been two years?" and "We've been together forever; how can that have been only two years ago?"

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates got it right with that one. Each year, as my birthday approaches, I feel the need to take stock of my life. If I don't stop and consider where I've been and where I'm going, life seems to just be a series of things that happen to me. So, with that in mind...

What have I accomplished since my last birthday?

~ Just before my birthday last year, J. and I moved back to Dallas. We'd wanted to move for a long time, and I'm so glad we made the leap. It was hard at first, but now I have a job I love, J. is in school and doing well, and we are happy. Our life has improved steadily, and it was absolutely the right move for us.

What have I done to improve myself? What have I done to improve my community and the world around me?

~ I have not done much, at least officially, to improve myself over the last year. I haven't taken any classes or focused much on my personal development. But it was a busy, stressful year. I think I've done more for others than for myself, which is fairly typical of me. I focused a lot of time and effort on helping J. get enrolled in and ready for school. We are working with a rescue group to control the population growth of the feral cat colony around our home. We have given a second cat a forever home, and are fostering a third kitten for future adoption.

What do I want to accomplish before my next birthday?

~ I set three reading goals for 2011. First, to read four classic novels (preferably one per quarter). They are: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, and The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I've already finished The Handmaid's Tale. Second, I want to read 90 books this year. I read 88 books in 2009 and 87 in 2010, so it's manageable, but I'll have to work at it. Lately I haven't been reading at all on weeknights, which makes it impossible to read more than one book per week. I'm going to start reading one chapter per weeknight, minimum. And I'm going to try to read on my lunch break at least three days per week. Third, I want to read as many of the books in my to-be-read pile at home as I can so I can get them out of my house.

~ I want to spend more time with my friends. Since my circles don't really overlap, it's hard to make time to see everyone. I still have several friends I haven't seen since we moved back to Dallas. And since I haven't had regular access to Facebook since May 2010, I feel very isolated from them.

~ I want to do something fun for myself. Ideally, I want to start scrapbooking again. In order for that to happen and be a fun thing for me, J. and I will have to move to a bigger place (which will hopefully happen anyway), and we'll have to either have a space with a door or rig a closet or cabinet so that I can close off my space. Crafts and cats don't mix well. If scrapbooking isn't manageable this year, then I'd like to take a class. I don't know what kind of class yet - something interesting and challenging and just for me.

~ I want to take a trip with J. I don't care where we go or what we do, but I want us to go somewhere. We are, of course, planning for our Christmas trip, but it's a long time till December, and so much can happen. It would be wonderful if we could go somewhere this summer, even if it's only overnight.

Before my next birthday, what do I want to do to improve myself? What can I do to improve my community and the world around me?

~ I want to spend more time with my own thoughts, whether that's journaling them on paper or on this blog.

~ I want to find a creative outlet. Hopefully it will be scrapbooking, but if that can't happen this year, I want to find something else.

~ I want to focus a little more on myself in regard to my grooming. I don't make time for regular haircuts, and I'm too lazy on the vast majority of days to put on makeup. But the fact is, I'm getting to an age where it's just not appropriate to go to work every day with my hair up and no makeup, especially in the type of job I have. And I feel better about myself when I take a few minutes to look put together.

~ I want to take better care of my health. We've already begun eating better, but I want to do more. I want to quit smoking this year, to eat more fruit and less ice cream, and to maybe go for an occasional walk.

~ I want to continue working with the feral cat colony around our home. I want to talk to our neighbors about trapping on their properties, so we can get as many of these cats altered as possible. I don't want any more litters of funny and precious but unwanted and unadoptable feral kittens to be born under my porch.

We're still 38 days from my birthday, so I may write more on this over the next month. For now, this is it.