Tuesday, August 31, 2004

i guess i never thought of 11 as middle aged

it's funny--when my dad dropped me off at college, he was your typical sad, "my daughter is all grown up," dad... but a year or so later he admitted that when he dropped me off at the time, he thought he would fit in again, that it would be like going back. it was that moment that he realized, he can never go back.

even funnier is that my dad was 51 at this time, yet i am only 22 and already beginning to see what he means. freshman just seem so young now, so small. you can see in their eyes that this campus is still a mystery. meanwhile, i have it pretty much figured out. i've done everything they're about to do... i don't know. suddenly, you really don't fit in anymore.

don't get me wrong -- i'm happy about being here this last semester. it's already off to a great start. i just think that it's strange that there exists somewhere in the world where, 22 is actually old. elderly even, in a way.

Monday, August 16, 2004

back to that same old town

off to school tomorrow and it's crazy. i thought this summer was going to drag on and on but you know what it actually went pretty fast. this is going to be a weird portion of my life. i mean, i have one semester of college then i'm done... so i'm pretty much packing up my entire life for four months in an apartment at school. it's a weird feeling -- leaving halfway through the year. but i think it's perfect. i wasn't ready to leave last may. this year campus will be different i think. people have graduated and moved on and it will feel different all together so i think half way through the year i may be ready to go. hard to say. i really like it there. i thought i'd be ready to go back but it's been a good summer and i'm kind of sad. but i'll be back soon. i wish i could have chicago and purdue all at once. perfect world.

you know we were talking today about growing up and how you do things like sneak and drive your parents car before you have a license and sneak out of your house at night to meet your friends like 1/2 mile away... and hide and smoke cigarettes and these crazy things and at the time--you think you are the oldest person in the world and it's weird that you have to sneak to do these things. really funny. like you think when you are 13 driving a vehicle that nobody in the car next to you knows you aren't 16? it is so weird. when you are young you feel invisible.

Friday, August 06, 2004

narrowing it down

when i left for college, i thought it was the end of the world. we spent days, weeks, months upset over leaving home and not to say that i regret that because i don't -- everything is relative and so at the time it did seem that way so what's to regret -- but you know i was always told -- your true friends, the ones you'll know all your life, are the ones you meet in college.

granted i haven't left college yet and so saying that i think i'll know these people forever wouldn't be fair given the last paragraph, but i'm seeing some validity in that advice. i don't know. i mean, i guess i see some sort of triangular pattern in it all. you start with this broad group of people who you are assured you will "know forever," but time marches on and i think the people that matter have a tendency to stick around.

i haven't quite figured it all out yet. how things work. why they work. i wish i had. it's funny, i can run into people i've never really known all that well, and now we can have really great conversations... yet i see people i know inside and out and am constantly ashamed of it. it's pretty crazy. but in the end i think it all works out. for the most part i find that i end up perfectly happy with the people i associate with, so i guess that says something.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

a lesson from dad

something i think is worth reading, if you have a few extra minutes. my dad is by far my biggest role model in life. he has this amazing attitude--and i swear i have never met somebody like him in that if the world is absolutely kicking his ass -- he manages a smile and you'd never know.
this year on their fishing trip, something my dad adores more than life itself and i wouldn't hesitiate to call it his favorite week of the year--things got a little competitive this year though between my brother, my cousin, and my cousin's husband. things are always competitive to these three i guess, because they're around the same age and all pretty masculine in personality... but it really got my dad down.

so here's my dad's cute attempt at raising the spirit's after this year's overly competitive fishing trip.

“Sometimes the best laid plans of men oft go awry.” That thought was running through my brain as I set the hooks into a muskie and instantly realized that my drag was not set. “You idiot,” I thought. After all the planning, all the preparation, a years worth of playing this moment over in my head the opportunity was gone. Everything suddenly focused on this frozen moment in time.

Preparation for this trip starts with the end of the last trip. Dates and locations are established, food and provision lists are reviewed and corrected, the cost of everything from gas to license fees is noted. Careful preparation is key to help ensure a successful trip. Many events whose outcome could spell trouble or worse are prepared for; We can prepare for these. Spare batteries provide extra power for a flashlight , a radio, or a depth finder. A satellite phone provides emergency communication. Duct tape, well, duct tape serves a plethora of applications. Again, some unexpected events are controllable.

Other events like weather, lake levels, and weed growth are uncontrollable. We still talk about them but there’s little we can do about them. We pretty much just play with the cards we are dealt when it comes to these matters. Certainly with all the chatter that takes place the other fifty-one weeks of the year, it’s hard to believe that any stone is left unturned. Some things, inevitably, get left by the wayside.

It occurred to me that not one of these events, controllable or uncontrollable, has ever really ruined a fishing trip. Oh sure, each has caused problems, ,but the trip goes on and it’s always fun.

A high school teacher of mine frequently repeated this quotation, “Time is what is happening while you are waiting for something to happen.” When you think about it, if a fisherman makes 500 casts a day, and catches thirty fish, would that mean that 470 casts are wasted? Does that mean that you didn’t have fun making those casts? What was going on while fishing? Maybe you enjoyed the beauty of the north woods, joked with your partner, saw a moose, or maybe you even talked about what a great time you were having. Time? Did I say time? Make the most out of every cast, every moment. It’s not just about catching fish—it’s about how you spend your time. And how did you spend your time? Counting fish? Or maybe counting blessings?

Oh, by the way, I missed that muskie but there were other fish, other moments, lots of laughs and good times. Carpe Diem, gentlemen, Carpe Diem. "

put your life to music

"what came first, the music or the misery? people worry about kids playing with guns or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, LITERALLY thousands, of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. did i i listen to pop music because i was miserable? or was i miserable because i listened to pop music? " -john cusack in high fidelity

alright now i'll be the first person to admit that i get some sort of strange comfort from sad music -- it's almost like i'm thinking "wow, you just read my mind and put it into better words than i could have ever put it into." but movie makes a point. it's interesting to turn it around and consider the possibility that you may have self-diagnosed yourself with all of these problems because you heard them in a song, a movie, what have you. i mean if you really think about it -- how many times do you hear one line in a song and then think "Exactly! That's me! It's like you're reading my mind." And from then on out you kind of force the rest of the words to fit. So then here you are, forcing a song to form to instances of your particular life, meanwhile identifying every self-crisis possible within your mind. It's kind of messed up to think about. Maybe not completely true--but there's some validity there.

There's truth in the fact that we're all human -- we all experience the same things, different ways and to different degrees but the same things -- love, loss, joy. Whatever. So there's something to be said about feeling a connection with a songwriter's emotions -- that it's definitely logical to identify with someone else who has felt these things but written it down somewhere for people to read. But do we take it too far? Probably more often than not. Interesting to think about.

appreciating the ordinary

ever have those moments when you're just sitting there doing ordinary things and you just have a minute of appreciation where you think -- wow this is really great... and you just take it all in and feel good about where you are and what you are doing and find purpose in being?

i have them once in awhile i guess. watching the fireworks is what brought this all on because i'm sitting underneath them with my family, and the show in naperville is put to music so everything is in sync, making it all the more meaningful, and i just felt really good for a minute -- not just proud to be in america, but appreciative of everything i am so fortunate to have in my life. it sounds weird that such a strong series of feelings could have been brought forth by something so simple and traditional but i just got to thinking about things and just surrounded by happiness, especially since we're back home now. last year was the first year in i don't even know how long that we didn't do the traditional 4th of july stuff, and my mom was just saying she remembers walking away from the fireworks last year and being sad because she wasn't in naperville.. so i guess that made it all the more important. we're back home where we belong.

dance like nobody's watching

cliches and why i hate them
i get sick of all the cliched corny quotes about friendship among other cliches but i'll stick with this example --you know the ones-- you've seen them in chain letter emails since the internet became cool, you see them in 8th grade yearbooks in 6 point font, and instant messager profiles, engraved across the bottom of picture frames, accompanying a black and white photograph of a two 5-year-old girls on the beach on a poster... they have meaning behind them and whatnot, but i think that's all lost in the constant repition of them. it comes to be that we don't even read these things anymore but rather skim them the way you were taught in your senior-year elective speed reading class... because they are so familiar. and so doesn't meaning get lost in all that? i mean when you read the words, "Make new friends" do you really have to read what comes next -- or do yous sort of skip to "gold," and then, after that, are you thinking about the meaning behind that phrase or are you mentally humming the girl scouts theme song?

and that's the way this wheel...

in the overall scheme of things we are constantly learning what and whom are worth our time.
by finding what inspires you in people, characteristics that are noteworthy, we learn lessons from them and by combining those separate lessons we form our own master plan of who we want to be.

and in following our plan we make mistakes, we fall down, we learn, we grow... and we someday find comfort in the person we have become...

and then go on to be part of someone elses plan, give them a noteworthy characteristic of our own

everything really does work in circles

i feel home

something i really love about home is that your friends there have known you forever... and seriously no matter how long you've been away, you can come back to a crowd like that in complete comfort. it's a really great feeling. i mean, people that you haven't talked to in years and in a way you're kind of wondering how it's going to go when you actually do but it just takes a few minutes of sitting down and talking and whatever else to realize it's just like you never left. there's something so comforting about that... that no matter how long you're gone, you're not forgotton and old friends can always get together without things changing too much.

i like you because...

Thought about this today, thought i needed to put it somewhere... so hey, why not here
top things i respect in people

-being real and by being real i mean, having your own opinions and voicing them (when appropriate), not bending or swaying your beliefs and values
-being unique, having something unique to you that other people can pick up on, or learn from
-being sensitive to others-knowing and caring about peoples weak spots, peoples strengths, treating others appropriately
-intelligence--not necessarily a straight a student, but someone who can impress you in conversation, someone you really want to listen to
-strength in character--really believing in yourself, portraying that, no matter what other people might think, you like the person that you are (different than arrogance, of course)
top things that i disrespect about people
-people who, for whatever reason, get something out of testing people
-people who have no opinions about anything
-people who walk around every place like they own it, like i said before, there's a difference between being noticeably comfortable with yourself and acting like you are the best thing that happened to this world. because the thing about people like that is, no one else thinks that about them so they really just end up looking stupid.
-people who make themselves so busy doing the wrong things
-people who get stressed out too easily
-people who are consistently angry
-people who think they got cursed with this awful terrible life, and constantly pity themselves and act miserable... hello, life sucks, for everyone. on different levels, for different reasons, but in general-- SORRY... it does. its not fair---we all know that. why hang your head all day? the world isn't going to stop for you, you might as well enjoy it

pick up the pieces

it's weird how you realize things every day. i can't figure out whether or not you remember them all, but either way, you are constantly realizing things.
see, my dad has a unique way of looking at mistakes. everyone does dumb things right? everyone does things they regret? well, there really isn't anything in this world that is completely impossible to get beyond, someway, somehow. and what really comes out of it in the end is that you learn something along the way, making you a stronger, and probably better person by enduring the healing process.

i have a habit of dwelling on things but i'm trying to pick up this attitude of my dad's to the best of my ability because i think it's really healthy.

it's tough though because at times life really does suck. i hate to be one of those people who hangs their head and whines about how bad they have it because in all actuality, i really don't at all. but life really is tough. people are cruel and unpredictable. and the world can be really cold sometimes. i know better than to have a bad attitude but that's easier than it seems, unfortunately.

so, all of this was brought on by a visit with an old cd, ben folds rockin' the subarbs... these lines hit me

and life barrels on like a runaway trainwhere the passengers change
they don't change anything

they get off, someone else can get on

sad lines, sad song... sad message.

i guess it sucks to say, but the fact of the matter is that you can only tell yourself how great life is so many times because it isn't always great. believing that is blinding yourself. but, what it comes down to is that even though life sucks sometimes, and even though you kinda want to sit back and just let it kick your ass, you've got to put up a fight.

like the sign in my bathroom in california said, "I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing."

keep them close

there are a couple of people that i really want back in my life--that haven't necessarily left for a reason--well a reason other than life, and overcrowded schedules and forgetting what's really important.
but now it's at that sort-of akward stage. the stage that i hate that it even exists at all. where no matter how close you were to someone, how much you shared with them, how many memories you have together... time has passed without any of those things in awhile and it makes them, for whatever reason, unapproachable.
sometimes i wonder if i am actually getting something out of realizing these things, or if i'm just driving myself insane.

probably a little of both.

and then it's too late.
but, i guess it's never ACTUALLY too late. it just SEEMS too late. well it depends.

i mean, anything is possible.
but not everything is plausable.

the more you are the more you understand

life is all about finding yourself. accepting change. learning...getting old in the process, but more importantly. realizing who you are. experiencing. growing. dealing with things. dealing with people.

and that's what college is all about too. so, you have to put an end to it, even if you don't want to. if college went on forever, we'd never learn how to let go of anything. you never truly appreciate something in your life until it's absent.

i've learned the best way to make yourself a better person is to learn what you dislike in others, and act accordingly. that's how you leave your mark on this world.

always keep an open mind and a closed mouth. you know less than you think you do, most of the time.

affecting people individually, making yourself likeable, goes farther than you may think. you have to start small because you have to start somewhere.

people will always remember the way you treated them. so why not give them all you've got?

the world keeps turnin

my dad opened my eyes to something the other day. see, my perspective has changed a lot lately, and i actually admitted to him that i'm glad they moved to california, and i'm also glad they moved when i was younger. because looking back, i think it made me stronger, and made me appreciative, and realize that things can be unexpectly taken from you, and that can be completely out of your hands.

for a long time, i thought the world should stop for me since my parents were moving and i was losing my house. i guess that's a normal reaction--when you're having a hard time--you sort of want time to stop for you for awhile until things are back on track. but what i've realized is, that doesn't happen at all. so by complaining, by waiting for people to pity you, you are really just wasting your own time.

what i've learned from this whole ordeal is--my family--2,000 miles away or 200, is still my family. sure, we're not as comfortable as we used to be. we lost a great house at 6 s. 211 marblehead court. when i go home now, i don't exit on naperville road. whatever. i've realized all of that is petty stuff.

there is nothing comfortable about change, that's for sure. but what i have to realize is that even though my parents were across the country for a year, they'd hop on a plane to indy in a second if i needed them to. and here i was, for a year, bitching to them about living far, complaining that i had to fly home, and meanwhile they were just doing what was best for my brother and i, supporting us and trying to stay positive.

i mean what really matters, physical proximity, or emotional availability?

i guess the lesson is--don't expect the world to stop for you when you're having a hard time. trust me, it won't. there's no sense wandering in circles when you could be looking ahead, and getting somewhere.

learning from eleanor

do one thing every day that scares you. -eleanor roosevelt
interesting concept huh? i bet people probably do anyways, but usually not on purpose. i don't know, i think it's a neat way of reminding yourself to live fully, daily.
one thing i've learned very recently--and i think it's because i'm actually growing up--but how important it is to surround yourself with people whose lifestyle you respect.

people feed off each others actions unintentionally.
happens all the time.

it's also weird how some people just stick with you in life--like effortlessly. i've come to know after 22 years that there are some people i will just know for my entire life. you just, for whatever reason, understand each other.
i guess no one can take that away.
weird how some things never falter.

and some people don't stick around, but see, i think that's for a reason too. sometimes you're just better off without certain people-and the influence they may have had on you. see, i think we'll all end up hanging on to the people that we need to keep around. it all works out.

sometimes, sometimes you just have to...

it's frustrating when something you've learned from your own life experience or realized at some point, is challenged by somebody else who you are certain has little or no room to speak.
I've felt like this before, and I have mixed feelings as to how to react. Half of you wants to raise your verbal fists and argue back since you have the knowledge to do so.
Half of you wants to walk away, knowing that they don't understand and giving them the benefit of the doubt. It's just that it's really hard to sit back and watch someone else play expert in something so prevalent in your life.
sometimes you know you that you are "supposed" to be the bigger person, but it seems weird because by doing so, you're letting people think they have the right to toss around your beliefs and your background because you are walking away, and they see that as a weakness rather than a strength.

so i moved my blog

this site has a lot more to offer. so i'm going to post highlights from my old blog and continue on here...