Monday, October 29, 2007

The Challenge

So November is National Novel Writing Month, in which the motivated can write the majority of their novels in 30 days. It's a lovely concept, but not one I'm particularly interested in at the juncture. However, another blogger instituted National Blog Post Month, in which the slightly less motivated post something on their blog every day. For that one I'm in, especially since I've been so bad about posting lately. Just don't expect anything from me on the weekends...
Anyone care to join me in this endeavor?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dear Me:

Earlier, I was reading a post from one of my favorite bloggers
Christine of Storked!. In this piece, she wrote a letter to a younger version of herself as if preparing and encouraging herself before hand for the many twists and turns her life would take. Her words really got me thinking and inspired me to do something similar.

If I could sit down with myself around age 13, here are some of the things I'd make sure I knew:

1. Pefection is not only impossible, it's boring. Be imperfect. Be yourself. It's not so bad. Go out without makeup. Get a B or two. Spend the majority of your time living life.

2. Don't participate in activities just because you think someone else expects it of you or even to spend time flirting with a boy. Think how much more free time you'd have if you skipped all those basketball practices, choir rehersals, and study groups you didn't want to go to. This extends into adult life too. Do what you want, even if you do it alone.

3. You'll get your heart broken many times before you meet the right guy. But don't let that stop you from meeting him or the ones in between. Just know that no matter how much you think you'll die at the time, all those heart pieces can be put right back together again and you'll be as good as new in no time.

4. Follow fewer rules. Really. Being too sheltered is worse for your spirit than falling down a few times because you pushed the envelope. Figure things out for yourself. Experiment. You can always change your mind.

5. Disappoint more people. You worry far too much about what other people think of you. Teachers, parents, friends, friends of friends. Like the perfection thing, you'll never please all of them all of the time anyway. Worry about whether or not you're disappointing yourself first.

6. You'll be most disappointed in yourself for not reaching your potential. You can often do better for yourself than you do. Try to get into the dream schools and interview for those dream jobs. Being bored is a fate worse than death for you.

7. The "cool" people you think you want to be like are only cool because they think they are. So, have more confidence in yourself.

8. Friendships come and go. Just because you grew up with someone doesn't mean they automatically get a free pass into your life forever. People who gossip, judge, lie, cheat, or abandon don't really care about you. Surround yourself with the people who get what you're about and support that. Let the rest go.

9. Don't spend all your time hating your body and obssessing about numbers. You're thighs aren't that flabby.

10. Finally, life usually doesn't turn out in line with your carefully organized plans. Deal with it. What was so good about your plan anyway? When you look back at those old plans years later, you might be glad they never happened.

Those are just a few. What would you tell a younger version of you?

Monday, October 1, 2007


I updated my MySpace profile today, and in a weak attempt at humor, in the About Me section, I gave a quick rundown of a day in the life of me. I won't subject you to a full recap, but the primary activities on an average day consisted of working, playing with the cat, and chilling at home with B. For a split second I considered deleting it because, frankly, it sounded a little geeky. Then I added the following to the end: "Give or take an activity or two, this is my life, and, minus the 8 hours of obligatory work, I love it."

And it's true; I do. However, there was a time in the not so distant past when I was continually on the go, especially on the weekends. Even the occasional Friday night that began with my ordering pizza and settling in to watch movies, ended with getting bored and heading out in search of fun. Not that we don't go out now. We go to dinner with friends, we get drinks in favorite pubs, we go to parties and hang out in friends' homes. But, it's amazing how simply all the other stuff slide away unnoticed. I considered this on Friday when on the way to meet up with his brother for dinner, B. asked what I wanted to do afterwards. My vote was to stop at Schnucks for a bottle of wine and drink it while we finished up season 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. "Are you sure?" B. asked, "I feel like we used to go out a lot more before we started dating. I don't want you to get bored."

I once thought I would. I remember asking a friend in a long-term relationship, "Don't you just get bored out of your mind? Don't you miss all the firsts? How can you sustain that initial excitement about each other?" Her answer was that a long-term relationship is a different kind of happy, that you trade that edge-of-your-seat adrenaline rush for the milder but equally satisfying excitement of building a life with someone. I hoped she was right, but honestly, it seemed crazy. Until it happened to me.

It turns out there's not a lot to miss about the past. I don't miss the silly drama and mixed signals or waiting all night for a text from boy of the moment. I love that when I go out with friends, it's 100% about spending time together, not scoping the room for prospective guys.
I've found that sometimes firsts are over over-rated. It's not just that first magic kiss but the random kiss before work one morning that makes my day. It's not just the spectacular dates but the times we spend the whole day together, doing laundry, getting groceries, and making dinner. It's the unconscious rituals and inside jokes that create the story of the two of us together. It's being able to say anything in front of him, to be my most authentic self, and know that he loves me for it, not in spite of it. It's making plans together, some we'll accomplish tomorrow and others for future years and knowing we mean them both. It's feeling everything has just been practice for this moment. It's knowing this is the closet thing to a sign from heaven I'll ever get.