Sunday, December 28, 2008

a year ago, revisited

i was looking at old pictures today. reading last years christmas cards while putting away this years. i found myself back in this month of 2007.

for a minute, i was sad.
literally, a minute. i'm glad it was that short.

i had a minute of "i had a boyfriend last year."
"new years was actually fun."
"i spent christmas looking forward to what was coming up."

and then i realized - i have got to snap out of this. and quick.

it's been controlling my life for far too long. a year, is too long. way too long. i'm not saying it impacts me every day, because it doesn't, but it's not "gone." and it needs to be. it's holding me back in some ways, not as much as it used to, but still.

and then, i remembered this night.

and i reread that. and i'm sitting on the same couch, in the same spot that i got that news this year. and i'm staring at the same wall that i stared at for 2 hours after i got the damn text message that let me know we weren't going to meet up afterall.

and all i can think right now is, What am I doing?

why am I letting this own me, even partially? i know better than that.

i reread that post and all of those feelings come back. and i'm amazed and disappointed at myself for even still having contact with anyone who could ever do that to me. i couldn't do that to my worst enemy. in fact, i know in the reverse situation i would go no matter my relationship, like/dislike for the person, or how tired i was or how many meetings i had in the morning. i would go because, if for no other reason, i said that i would.

and so, i don't deserve this.

i may have gotten over that night, but it still happened. and i can tell you one thing that i know - i don't need someone like that in my life. be it someone who i have known nine years or not, that's not something that someone who cares about you does to you, and i don't need it...

and i need to stop making excuses.
and justifying things.
making good of the bad.
being one of those girls i've watched for so many years from the sidelines.

and realize one thing: that i deserve more.

i'm grateful for the new year, and washing my hands of (some of) 2008.

Friday, December 26, 2008

oh christmas...

i just got back into chicago a few hours ago. my dad drove me back, thank you dad!

what a wonderful christmas it was.

i got home the night before christmas eve to help my mom with all of her great preparations. my parents have this way of making christmas so special.

i walked into the house and it's adorned with lights, trees, decorations, and spirit. it's something i didn't appreciate when i was younger (though it happened then) but now i walk in the doors to that house and the welcome is overwhelming. i'm so grateful to have my family.

we had christmas eve festivities at my parents house and everyone was there, and my dad put on his santa suit for the little kids, and it was just all so... perfect. we were up until 2 am talking and appreciating what we are so lucky to have every year, a great family. great dinner. a tree that is overwhelmed with presents, though unnecessary. christmas carols playing in the background, a real pine tree... all of these wonderful things i have taken for granted all of my life.

i found myself looking around just reminding myself how very lucky i am to have any of this, let alone all of this.

we went to mass this morning... and the priest was beginning to give his homily. and he spoke of the bible verse "be not afraid." and how we should all free ourselves of our fears and anxieties... and he asked a nice family at church if he could use their child for a second. he held the baby in his arms and said "now how could you be afraid when you know a God like ours brought us into the world like this baby? look into this baby's eyes and tell me you're afraid of any God that could do this." and the crowd was quiet.

and then, something strange happened. he had to break his homily for a second because someone in the church was having heart problems. he stopped, went over to see if they were okay and told them it was obviously okay to leave. and so he kept speaking about freeing our fears and afterward let us know that the guy was okay, and going to his home. and that perhaps there were angels amongst us on Christmas day watching over him.

i had a hard time with it at first. i thought - why on earth would anyone have a heart attack at Christmas mass? during a homily about the validity of fears and whatnot.... but you know, there's always a reason.

tonight on our drive back i asked my dad what he thought all of that meant. and he said, "amy, i think it happens so that we realize how very lucky we are. and the man is okay." and it took me a minute, but i agreed.

lesson learned - i'm so grateful for my health, my family, a place i can always call home, but most of all, happiness.

i'm grateful for all of my gifts as well, but the latter is less important.

merry christmas, everyone.

thank you for being in my life.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

a christmas carol

i slept too much earlier today, so i'm finding myself pretty awake at 2:30 am. things on the mind, so i decided it was a good time to do some writing.

it's cold here. really cold. winter in chicago has returned. i believe my cab driver this morning told me that it was -14 degrees with windchill. i seem to forget about this every year until it happens. it's funny how you get sort of immune to it though. i was dreading my walk to the bus stop on my way home, and honestly, it wasn't all that bad. i imagine if i lived in some warm climate for some substantial amount of time, those ten minutes waiting would have seemed like hours.

i took my parents to see A Christmas Carol this year at the Goodman Theatre. they've taken me every year since i was young, and i decided that this year it was my turn to treat them. i surprised them with tickets and sent them in the mail with a note saying something along the lines of, "thanks for always teaching me and showing me what's important in life," something that is not only true, but a main theme of the play.

we had dinner and headed to the show. it was great as always. i can't explain the feeling i leave with after seeing that play. maybe because it's so well done. maybe because it's a family tradition for us. definitely because of the lessons the story provides. in any case, i leave every year with a little more joy. it's like - i never forget what's important in life for the most part - but it's nice to be reminded, as it's easy to get distracted. for me, this play does just that. i noticed this year that when we left people were actually smiling at each other in the elevators, holding doors. maybe it's just a coincidence - maybe it happens to me every day, but i noticed it more, and i guess that's what i mean. the story has a way of making the heart just that much kinder.

this year, for my christmas cards, i decided to quote Dickens and the play. the quote i chose is from scrooge's nephew Fred, one whose character always has a large amount of Christmas spirit.

"But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that, as a good time: a pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!"

it's a perfect statement to me, and exactly the way i feel about this season. i like to think that everyone feels a little more lighthearted, even if it may not be true.

all in all, a good night to spend with my family and it felt so good to treat them for once. i realize now, as always, how very much i have to be grateful for. whether that means having a strong family, a warm place to call home, food on the table, or whatever else. i have a good life, and a lot to be thankful for. and that reinforcement, amongst good staging and acting, is why i love this play so very much.

Christmas is now in the air for me.

Monday, December 08, 2008

an exercise

i read an article today that i've had forever, but never actually read. it was from a psychology class that i took when i first started graduate school as an elective. there was a section on making goals, setting goals, and self-revelations. anyways, i was going through old books and stuff and i came back across it. the exercise is all about listing things about you. about your life. things people may not know, and things you may not even know until you find that you start thinking about it, and before you know it, you write them down. the article recommends fifty things. i've been in a little bit of a rut for the past week or so, unexplained rut. i can't seem to get to the bottom of it. i mean, life is good and all, but i guess i get like this from time to time... down on myself, trying to figure it out, whatever. so, i figured, what the hell. i'll give it a shot.

my "things"

1. i still miss my dog every day. he died five years ago. when i go to my parents house, i sometimes still think he'll be at the door.
2. i love the way my parents house smells. i don't know how to describe it, but it always smells like home. sometimes that means smelling like christmas, sometimes it means smelling like my mom's favorite plug in wall scent or whatever, but it always smells like home.
3. i still think about people from my past a lot. people that i wish i could have back in my life, but i know that it's not feasible. regardless, the traits i adored about them inspire me, and i appreciate the memories that are left behind with me and will always be around.
4. i sleep with my windows open during the winter sometimes. there's something about having a freezing apartment and a warm blanket to cuddle up under. sometimes i just love my blanket more than i love the heat being on.
5. i know i shouldn't think about things like this - but i do. i've thought about what i am going to do when my parents die a few times in my life, and it always leaves me in tears. and both of them are 100% healthy, but i can't imagine not having them around, no matter how old i am. i'm scared of that more than anything in the entire world. i never want that day to come.
6. i like places that have jukeboxes. i think it adds character.
7. i want to be an author, but i'm scared that i'll never have a story.
8. as content as i am being single, i sometimes worry that i'll never get married. it's just something i want in my life. not right now, but eventually, and i guess the thought of it not happening scares me a bit.
9. i sleep hugging a pillow, every single night.
10. i feel uncomfortable in expensive places. restaurants, stores, etc. i feel out of place.
11. i want to travel for like a year straight. just see the world, and then get back to life.
12. i already miss being twenty-two. it just seems like things were so much easier then, even though not much has changed.
13. i want to live somewhere besides chicago for awhile, because i know i will end up here. i want to do it, but i don't know if i have the guts to leave all of the people here. i'd miss my family and friends so much... i wish i was the type that could pack up and leave sometimes, but i don't know if i am at all.
14. i love christmas, and not the present part. i love the feeling. i love the way everyone just seems a little happier, and a little more merry. i hate the commercial side of it, though.
15. i complain about the winter and the cold, but i think i'm grateful for it because it makes me appreciate the rest of the year.
16. i've given up a lot of things i used to love and i don't know why. taking pictures for example, making crafts, writing way more often, reading way more often. part of it can be attributed to being really busy, but i'm not sure that's all of it.
17. i haven't driven since may, and the only thing i miss about it is listening to a good cd while driving in the rain.
18. there are several things about myself that i'd like to change.
19. i think it is weird that i can sleep through an alarm clock for an hour. a loud alarm clock. haha.
20. i really enjoy long train rides. with good music and earphones and just looking out the window. probably some of my favorite moments.
21. i feel like i'm the only female in the world who actually does not like shopping at all.
22. i don't think about my birth parents a lot, in fact, almost never. but i do wonder if they ever think about me.
23. i cry on my birthday every year. i have no idea why. usually it is about something completely unnecessary. but, every year.
24. sometimes i drive myself crazy thinking too hard.
25. i wish it was normal to wear pajamas to work :)
26. i'm a pretty independent person for the most part, but sometimes, i get pretty lonely.
27. i adore chicago. i feel like sometimes, it's my company, or my peace of mind. knowing that in the midst of whatever life throws me, there's a city full of opportunities right out my front door brings me comfort.
28. i wish i had more time to go to church. and i wish i went more often.
29. i wish that my brother would give me a chance to be a good sister.
30. in the past year or so, i've gotten comfortable going to a restaurant completely alone. and now, i actually enjoy it. it's relaxing.
31. i'm horrible with any sort of change. takes me forever to get over it.
32. in the same sense, i like routine. i need a calendar at all times. i do the same thing from start to finish in the morning every single day. i always have a to do list. crossing off an item brings this weird sense of accomplishment to me, even if it's something a simple as "laundry" or "buy stamps."
33. i love coming home when i know there are clean sheets on my bed.
34. i love reading back on this blog. it's kind of like watching a movie of my life.
35. i love a good storm, combined with a good cd, or a good book. windows open.
36. i have absolutely no idea where i'll be in a year from now. i guess that's the same as most people, but i mean, i don't even have the slightest idea.
37. i'm excited to graduate in may, i think it's a big accomplishment. at the same time, i really think i will miss it. i love learning.
38. the older i get, the more i see my mom and dad in me. it's crazy. i never believed people when they used to say that would happen. i also never thought i'd like crate and barrel and cleaning supplies. haha.
39. i wish i was more knowledgeable about the world.
40. i have a lot of things that i would like to get rid of because i don't use them, but i can't because they remind me of a time period in my life that for some reason i'm attached to.
41. i wish i was one of those people that could just lay down and fall asleep. without thinking about dumb things for two hours. haha.
42. i can't wait to have a house and decorate it. i'm so excited to have more than an apartment someday.
43. there's nothing better than a big hug.
44. i can't fall asleep without the TV on.
45. i love the mornings when i wake up early. the mornings when you have time for a little extra "me" time. whether that means a cup of coffee, or doing the dishes so you don't have to do them when you get home.
46. i never understood how bad a heartbreak is until this year. it's the worst feeling in the world.
47. i wish i did more to better the world. i think about it, but i'm only semi-proactive. i wish i did more.
48. i actually enjoy talking to strangers. even if its a 2 sentence exchange. i just like it.
49. i'm a total hypochondriac.
50. i'm grateful for everything in my life, and everyone in my life. and i need to remember that more often than i sometimes do.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

you didn't come

the only good dialogue from The Lakehouse

Kate: You weren’t there, you didn’t come.

Alex: I don’t understand. Something must’ve happened. I’m sorry. I’ve got two years and we can try again.

Kate: no, Alex. It’s too late. It already happened. It didn’t work.

Alex: Don’t give up on me, Kate. What about “Persuasion”? You told me they wait, they meet again. They have another chance.

Kate: Life is not a book, Alex. And it can be over in a second. I was having lunch with my mother at Daley Plaza. And a man was killed right in front of me. He died in my arms. And I thought it can’t end just like that on Valentines Day. And I thought about all the people who love him, waiting at home, who will never see him again. Then I thought what if there is no life? What if you live your whole life and no one is waiting. So I drove to the lake house looking for any kinds of answer. And I found you. And I let my self get lost, lost in this beautiful fantasy when time just stood still. But it’s not real Alex. I have to learn to live the life that I’ve got. Please don’t write any more. Don’t try to find me. Let me let you go.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

glimmers

walking down the street tonight, i had one of those moments that i like to think of as movie moments... where the scenery surrounding you is so pretty, nature comes alive, and you feel like it's almost unnatural because it's perfect. movie like.

i was walking down the street around six, up north toward where i live and watching the first snowfall in chicago. it wasn't heavy snow, or big snowflakes. it was dust, the kind that really only shows up in street lights. but it glimmers. and it offers the feelings of a new season. the nostalgia of the holidays. the feeling of something new, something fresh.

a change.

i'd be lying if i said i walked down that street today and didn't think about where i was a year ago at this time.

either way, i enjoyed it. i put on my warmest coat, and instead of taking the bus, i walked. there are only so many days that you can actually enjoy the snow, because of course, this is the mild part. but it's still pretty now. it won't be in a few weeks.

i came home and went to dinner with a friend. and were both talking about how pretty the city looked and how happy we were to be here.

i came home to someone telling me that they missed me.
that they were down today. felt gray. that it was gray there.
that they wished they were here.
wished they could see me.

it takes every bone in my body to not respond with instinct, and that first instinct is to eat it up. to take every one of those words and yell "me too!" and "i thought of you all freaking night when i walked home tonight."
but i know that i can't do that.

my second instinct is to say, "you could have had all of that."

i just wonder why it has to be like that. and why it takes someone being lonely to realize what they've lost. i sometimes just wish we, as people, could just stay in that moment. and not leave it. to have never left that place i was in about a year ago.

but then i know that we'd never appreciate the times we were in the moment. as much as i want to be the eternal optimist and believe that life can be all euphoric and wonderful and no one ever has to get hurt, i know that the reason we love and remember the moments in our lives are because in some way, they made us feel something. and unfortunately, if we never felt what it was like to not have something, if we never felt lost... if we never felt hurt, well...it would be pretty difficult to feel love.

amazing what one snowy evening can evoke.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

our new president

i experienced history last night.

i went to grant park to watch the results of the election come in. i stood among hundreds of thousands of chicagoians and others, to watch these numbers collect and mean something and wait for Obama to speak.

i have never felt so much patriotism in my life.

i have never seen Chicago, as a city, seem so undivided.

i have never been so proud to be an American.

the crowd was big, but it was calm. and for awhile it was like watching TV only with about one million people... and then they announced it, early. Barack Obama would be our new president. and this crowd began to celebrate, and cheer. and cry. and for probably the first time in my life as a chicagoian, i saw this city unite. i looked around me and it wasn't segregated by race, by status, religious affiliation, or by age.

EVERYONE was there.

and i saw promise in that. sure, it's just one night, but i've never seen a presidential candidate who has been able to bring together that kind of a crowd. i can't help but see it as a glimmer of hope for our country's future. it was inspiring.

we watched McCain speak and say his part, for the most part, with respect. he spoke well and spoke positively of the outcome, and i truly believe, ended his part of the race with grace.

and then, there were about four songs. and anticipation. lots of anticipation. everyone is waiting for Obama to take the stage and speak. they played Sweet Home Chicago, and the crowd was dancing, smiling, laughing, crying.

i'll never forget it.

Obama came out and gave a speech that i know will be in my children's history classes. i have never been so moved by so few words. and i have never believed someone with so many big promises. it gave me chills. the crowd was in tears. strangers felt like friends. and there was a strong sense of unity that i will probably never forget in my whole life. i may not remember every word he said, but i'll never forget the feeling of standing amongst all of those people who all have a passion for this country to change and a common goal, and really honestly feeling like we really are all the same. we're people. we're not poor people, rich people, black people, white people. we're people. we're americans. we believe in this man and we believe in our country.

i felt it. i really did.

i'll be the first to say it - we don't know what's going to happen. anything could happen. but i believe in this man and his willingness to do everything in his power to keep his promises. i really do.

and i don't think i've seen as much american pride and unity as i saw last night. not even after 9/11.

yes we can.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

good will hunting

it's still my all time favorite movie. 11 years old now--still my number one.
this is my favorite part. even reading it gives me the same emotions that the movie does. not a whole lot of movies can do that.

Sean: I was thinking about what you said to me the other day, about my painting. I stayed up half the night thinking about it, and then something occurred to me and I fell into a deep, peaceful sleep and haven't thought about you since. You know what occurred to me?

Will: No.

Sean: You're just a kid. You don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about.

Will: Why, thank you.

Sean: It's all right. You've never been out of Boston.

Will: No.

Sean: So, if I asked you about art you could give me the skinny on every art book ever written...Michelangelo? You now a lot about him I bet. Life's work, political aspirations, the Pope, sexual orientation, the whole works, right? But you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling. I've seen that.

If I asked you about women, you'll probably give me a syllabus of your personal favorites, and you've been laid a few times. But you can't tell me how it feels to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy.

You're a tough kid. If I asked you about war, you'd probably throw a sonnet right at me, right? Once more, until the bridge, dear friends. But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap and watched him gasp his last breath, looking to you for help.

And if I asked you about love you'd quote me a sonnet, but you've never looked at a woman and be totally vulnerable. Known that someone can level you with her eyes. Feeling that God had put an angel on earth just for you. And you wouldn't know how it felt to be her angel. To have that love for her to be there for her forever. Through anything, through cancer. You wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in a hospital room for two months holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes that the term visiting hours don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, because that only occurs when you lose something you love more than yourself.
I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much.

I look at you and I don't see an intelligent, confident man: I see a cheeky, scared, shitless kid. But you're a genius, no one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine. You ripped my fuc***g life apart.

You're an orphan, right? Do you think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who your are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that incapsulate you?

Personally, I don't give a shit about all that, because, you know what: I can't learn anything from you I can't read in some fuc***g book. Unless you wanna talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't wanna do that, do you sport? You're terrified about what you might say.
Your move, Chief.

Monday, October 27, 2008

the one that got away?

i wonder a lot about that whole concept of "the one that got away." from all aspects. i wonder if i'm anyone's "one" that got away, and i wonder if mine has already gotten away too.

i really believe in the concept.

i don't get over things quickly, if ever. it's something i'm working on. being able to let things go. i think it's my best and worst asset-my sensitivity. i think on one hand, it's what makes people like me--because i care about everything and everyone. on the other hand, it sometimes means that i'm hurt too easily. catch 22 i suppose.

as much as i'd like to say the opposite, i know that i'm not over some of my ex boyfriends. of course, it's nothing like it was during the initial breakup where i was like losing sleep and whatnot. but i miss things about them.

and of course, there's things i don't miss at all. like driving myself crazy wondering what they're thinking. or having that paranoid feeling that something might be wrong between us.

yeah, i don't miss that.

i don't miss the long distance. i don't miss the ex girlfriends in the picture.

but i do miss things.

the little things. the late night talks. sleeping next to somebody. walking down the streets of my favorite city in the world, and actually being part of that whole couple thing. those couples always look so happy. i have to admit, it was nice to be on the other side of the fence and be one of those couples for awhile. to walk down the street to dinner and hold someones hand and be genuinely happy. discovering new things about each other all of the time--yeah, i miss that. brushing your teeth together in the morning. giving each other a hard time and laughing so hard that it hurts. i do, i really miss that stuff.

i've never been one to "need" somebody. in fact, i was thinking about it recently, and unless you count the children i babysit for, i'm always by myself. almost always. i'll meet friends for dinner and drinks. i see my parents once in awhile. i'll talk to someone in a store, but for the most part, i'm usually by myself. i live by myself. i run errands by myself. i even go to sit down restaurants by myself.

years ago, i think that would have bothered me. i would have felt lonely. i've kind of grown to love it. it's nice to have space, and i'd say most of the time i appreciate the space that i have. definitely. but, every once in awhile there's just that need for company... and when i don't have the option, i start to miss the times that i did.

i saw a sex and the city episode recently... the one where carrie is talking about all of her friends getting married, and having babies and whatnot... and she kind of came to the conclusion that she wasn't alone... she was dating new york city. it sounds silly i guess, but i actually totally related to it. i feel as if i'm sort of doing the same, only my city is chicago. i don't necessarily think i'm "dating" chicago, but the point was well made. you live in this wonderful city and action is all around you. things to do on every block. it's really quite welcoming to be single and there's so much to do.

i have to say though, there are nights like tonight, that i wish i had someone to talk to as i fall asleep. i miss those things.

dean told me he missed me today. too much he said. honestly, it's good to hear. it is. but it's so confusing. it was around this time last year that we really started to date. so, things remind me of him right now. the fall, the holidays... places we went together and things like that. i don't think anything will ever become of it, but who knows, i guess.

i still think about matt, too. it's strange, he had such an impact on me for some reason. he was just a good person. i'm just happy for the time we had together, regardless of how it ended. it was fun and i enjoyed it, and i loved his simplicity, his attitude, and his rebellious nature. we had a lot of fun together. it was a good summer.

just kind of thinking out loud i guess tonight.
so, until my next writing inspiration happens... night.


I guess you get used to somebody
Kinda like having them around
I guess you get used to the way they make you happy
Bring you up when you're feeling down
I never dreamed when I was letting you go that
I would wake up and miss you this much
I guess you get used to somebody,
I guess you get used to being loved

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

october

just got back from indianapolis. i went to see allison for lily's first birthday, and lindsey and lisa did as well. it was a nice little college reunion. it's always fun when we're all together again. things have changed (like we exchange cleaning product suggestions and recipes instead of drinking two beers at once now) but we're all still the same. and it's always fun to talk about old times at purdue... we really did have a blast in college. i'm lucky to have such great friends. no matter where we live and how much things change, we can still get together and have a blast.

i've been pretty crazily busy lately. it's good. between two jobs and weekend babysitting, i might drive myself insane (and i start school in two weeks on top of all of that). but i like being busy. i think i forget that i like being busy sometimes... but i really do enjoy it. i think i'm meant for a fast paced lifestyle. i was bored for so so long.

i love chicago in the fall. every day makes me happy :) i love this weather.

i'm very excited to start school again. i really love learning. i kind of feel like my brain has been on a bit of a vacation this quarter. excited to start up again. i can not believe i only have four classes until i graduate! that's insane. i feel like i just started, seriously. it's actually been quite awhile though and it will be great to finish up. i think i'm going to study abroad this summer - so that's exciting. i'm deciding between sydney, bejing and rome. we'll see! pretty diverse options, i know. i have time to figure it out though.

this is a bit of a boring post... i'll try to be a little more original next time. :)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

chin up

it's my favorite time of year.

the only time of the year i find myself looking around, smiling while walking around, thinking about life and the city and everything else wonderful.

fall.

i don't know what it is. i love the fall. everything about it. the fact that you can wear a sweater and flip flops at the same time. the colors. the smell. the crisp air without a coat. sleeping with the windows open. pumpkins. festivals. leaf piles. knowing that family time and holidays are around the corner. i love it all.

the first perfect day of the year to me, is the day you can leave the house in all of your favorite clothes, at once. not worrying about whether you'll be cold or hot. i love that. short sleeves, long sleeves, sandals, or socks, you're good.

i left my place this morning, and it was just one of those perfect mornings. i woke up about a half hour before my alarm went off and while usually i'd go back to bed, today i felt energized and got up. i love it when i do that. it's so nice to get ready and not be rushed, or tired. and know that you have that extra twenty minutes or so to run to starbucks or take a walk or read part of your book in the morning. i love it and i'm glad i don't do it every day, because i wouldn't appreciate that extra half hour... and time moves too fast to not appreciate a half hour once in awhile.

so this morning i got up. i got ready. i threw on a turtleneck, jeans, and flip flops... stopped at starbucks for a coffee. made a to do list. walked around chin up looking around me and just thinking about how very much i loved that moment.

not to be pessimistic, but let's just say we all know it's only weeks away when the frigid cold comes. you know what i notice the most? in the winter, it's depressing, not only because it's freezing, but because everyone walks with their head down. it's like the social aspect of the city is gone. there's no more eye contact with strangers. no more friendly morning hellos to the people you pass or the bus driver. it's just too cold to look around. and there's so much to see.

alright, enough about weather and seasons...

the past few months have been good to me. i've started working again, and maybe even too much because i'm so busy now. but, i like it. i had too much down time, i realized, and it's not good for me. i'm so much happier when i'm busy, productive, and at the end of the day, tired. i had forgotten, but i really missed all of those things in my life.

i'm not in school right now (for just this quarter) simply because i'm adjusting to these new responsibilities, and time constraints. but i'll start up again in early november. according to my advisor, i should graduate approximately one year from now. it's been pushed back a bit due to multiple things (having to drop a class, opting out this quarter, etc) but i'm fine with it. i'd rather take my time and take it all in. i love school, and i get so much more out of it when i have it in the right balance. there was a time when i was working 50 + hours a week, and taking 12 credit hours. it doesn't sound impossible, i know, but i just wasn't enjoying school, and that's not like me. i'd rather enjoy my classes, take my time, and graduate three months later than i thought i would.

and then... the big news. i've decided that i want to teach. i'm going back and forth about what to do about this. i contacted a lot of illinois schools with great MEd programs... but i don't know. something about getting another masters seems like backtracking to me, so right now i'm looking at phD programs. i've decided on this for a number of reasons: first, i've always wanted to teach college more than i've wanted to teach high school, middle school, or el ed. the reason for this? i know that i want to teach english. and not just teach english, but i want to teach it to students that want to learn english. not the langage necessarily, or linguistics, or grammar specifics... but studying literature. the written word. writing.

i want them to love it. to live it like i do. to think like a writer. to read like an author. and, i think to get those kind of students, you need to go to the higher level.

anyways, that's the plan for now. we'll see. so far i've only looked into programs in austin... and UT Austin has an awesome phD education program. i can't apply until i've completed my masters... so we'll see. but let's just say i'm not excluding the possibility of moving. i wouldn't move just anywhere, afterall, i love chicago too much to abandon it for a city less satisfying, but i'll say this--the first time i landed in austin, i thought (which i rarely think), "I could live here." and it's been in the back of my mind since. part of me, a big part, thinks i should live somewhere else for awhile. after all, i know where i'll end up (chicago). so why not? but, that's a year down the road, so i guess right now it could be considered "an idea."

enjoy this weather. and the season. it's only a few weeks long, afterall.

chin up.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Always Midnight

Are you blind?
Can't you see me standing here,
waiting in line for you?

Are you mine?
Not just when you want to be,
All of the time.
Are you?

Are you blind?
Don't you see me standing here?
Won't you tell me what it is I'm waiting to find?

with you,
It's always midnight...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

fitting words

i love this quote by adam duritz. i read it every time i'm in any sort of a rut. it makes so much sense to me.

"Things only end, after all, because they once began, so maybe all these endings are just the last things that happen before something else begins. Maybe you even come to an end so that you can simply step back and take a clearer look, then see a better way to begin again. There are things I wish I could begin again. "-Adam Duritz

Friday, September 05, 2008

butterflies

i can think of few moments in my life that have given me actual butterflies--so cliche, i know. it's a strange word for it and actually a strange concept in general.

a combination of nervousness and excitement that makes your stomach flip. hmm, butteflies.

i'm on the bus right now headed to columbus to visit Brandy. the last week or so has been sort of a whirlwind of emotions for me. i'll spare the details, because it's not that important to list them--but it's kind of crazy how things can all come at once sometimes.

i'm excited to leave town. as much as i love chicago, but sometimes everyone needs to step out and get a breath of fresh and unfamiliar air.

i booked this trip in early july. and in the past week i've spoken to someone who was close to me that i've kind of spent the last two months or so guarding myself from. and guess who's moving this weekend... to cincinnati. i swear all of this stuff is sometimes a little too coincidental for a girl who puts so much thought into the possibility of fate.

i finally got what i'd been looking for since february or so--an admission of truth and feelings.

i think you are one of the most amazing people i've ever met and i don't want to lose you from my life.

Finally.
Thank You.

THERE is the person i've spent all of this time missing. i knew i didn't imagine him. and hey--sometimes, you don't realize what you are missing until it's not yours anymore.

we talked about things. REAL things. for the first time in months. a real conversation that finally got past hello and how are you. i can't even explain how refreshing it was.

you know, from the outside persepctive, i totally understand why everyone was telling me to just let it go. but the truth is - i never could. and i tried. my God did i try.

it just never worked.

i'm not good at forgetting about people, cutting them off. i'm just not built that way. my heart makes the decisions.

ironically as i've been writing this the songs on my ipod that played randomly are "Comfortable" by John Mayer and "Lose You" by Pete Yorn. combine those songs messages--and well, that explains the butterflies.

a combination of remembering and feeling once again something so comfortable... being wary at the same time, missing things but looking out for what i know is a very fragile heart.

but still fearing the possible loss of something i know once made me so happy. something i've never felt until that.

a mix of emotions.
butterflies.

you know, my parents never fought much when we were young. in fact, i only remember one real "fight." i specifically remember being confused because my mom was reading in the guest room. and well, we never used that room. being young and confused about it (and knowing WAY too many people with divorced parents) i remember asking my mom why they didn't just get divorced.

i remember that all she said was:

"I'm in love with your father Amy, even when it's not perfect."

it was a hard thing for a little girl to understand her mom saying over tears. but i get it now.

and on a bus, to columbus, over some really good music and a few tears, i'm saying the same thing to myself.

Friday, August 22, 2008

simple things

today was a thinking day for me. i guess to some extent, every day is, but i really sorted stuff out tonight. i thought about everything: working, money, life, friends, family. this list could go on forever.

i realized that i appreciate simplicity. in everything.

i like a calm environment.
i like a clean room.
i like going to bed and not setting an alarm.
i like who i'm with more than what i'm doing.

all of this made me thinking... what is it that these things have in common? what do i like?

i like the simple things in life.
i like seeing a sunset. or a sunrise.
i like when there are no expectations and i'm able to be myself.
i like flip flops that cost five dollars.
i like jeans that aren't expensive or perfect but fit well.
i like vanilla ice cream more than the flavors.

anyways, my point is this: it doesn't take a lot to make a person happy. in fact, when you aren't trying, well, those are the best times.

i anaylzed the guys i have dated, and my conclusion is that the best time i've had with someone is when we're doing nothing at all. i don't need the fancy dinners. i don't need the vacations. the times when i really remember are when we're doing something so low-key and unplanned.

i've dated both types: one that thought an expensive dinner would win me over, and one that wanted to just get off of work and feed the ducks, or play tetris.

i prefer the latter.

money doesn't matter to me, and i'm so very glad i know that early in life. i'd rather the dates where you go feed the geese the backyard, go to costco and get free samples for the hell of it, go to a pet store and pet a puppy. those are the times i remember. those are the things that stick with me.

i'm so very grateful to know that everything else doesn't matter. it's about company. it's always been about company. i can't name every restaurant/bar i've been to but i can tell you every person i've had fun with. there's something to be said about that.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Goodbye Alison

On August 5th, a sorority sister of mine, and friend, passed away after a very long and hard battle with cancer.
She was 27.
27.
The more I think about it, and the more I try to make sense of it, well, I can't. To me, it doesn't make sense.
The only conclusion I have is that she must have gone somewhere better, because her husband and family and her life was wonderful. It only makes sense that she left this world for something better.

I've been following Alison's blog and her husband Tom's blog for several years now. I was reading back, and back in 2006, a group of my sorority sisters and I sent her a care package of fun things like pajamas and coffee and candy and gift cards. It doesn't seem that long ago that we did that, and I guess that's because it wasn't.

I never knew Alison very well in school. I remember her, I remember living with her, and talking to her, but I never got to know her. After following her story, I've really felt close to her and kept her in my daily thoughts. It was heartbreaking to read, but I just kept hoping it would get better. There were ups and downs.

And then this week I was visiting Janna in Grand Rapids, and I got a text message that it was over. We sat in silence at dinner for a few minutes. There was nothing to say. Both of us were shocked--and it's weird--it's not like we never thought there may be an end in sight. I guess we just hoped there wasn't.

She was an amazing person. So creative. Such a big heart. Made such a difference in so many peoples lives. It's not fair.

I know it made me want to call everyone and tell them I love them. And stop sweating the small stuff. Stop being sad about money and ex boyfriends because I have my health, and my family, and really, it put everything in perspective.

Alison, you were and still are an inspiration to me.
The world will miss you, but I know you are at peace.

Read Tom and Alisons blog if you get the chance. It will change you.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Train Thinking

8.4.2008

On a train to Grand Rapids

I’m on a train to Grand Rapids right now, on my way to stay with Janna and see her house and get together with Steph. I decided a few months back that I needed to visit some of my friends this summer while I have the time… So I am doing this and going to see Brandy and Brian and Addi in early Sept, and Allison (with Lindsey in town!) in October. So, all of that should be exciting.

So that’s what I’m doing, but that’s not why I am writing.

I know I haven’t written in awhile—I’m not real sure the reason. It’s kind of sad, but I think I only tend to write when I am sad. I’ve thought about that a lot – and whether or not it’s weird to have that tendency and I’ve kind of concluded that some of the best writing is done when some sort of strong emotion is involved. I think in a weird way, it causes inspiration, or therapy. Something, I don’t know. But words are so much stronger when people write them out of pain, for whatever reason. I guess that’s depressing, but it’s pretty true. And it rings true for me definitely. When I write and I’m 100% happy, it’s all like “life updates,” and sometimes I get to the end of the post and I think “Does anyone actually care about this?” I don’t know. Anyways.

Something about trains makes me sad. I don’t know if it’s because I am always listening to music and looking out of a window… And there’s something movie-like about it… Don’t you feel like a lot of emotional parts of movies involve traveling on trains? That’s always when they’re listening to that sad song, looking out the window almost as if they’re looking back on their life…

Maybe I’ve seen too many movies.
Or maybe I just spend too much time on trains.

Well, most of my train rides are 45 minutes to Naperville. This one’s 4 hours. That’s about five times the songs I’ll hear than my regular train trip and even those really get to me. So, I got to thinking and I got to crying. Not totally crying, but getting choked up, and I don’t cry a lot.

You know, I had just gone through a long period of healing and forgiveness with someone that I’ve known for a very long time. When we left off, I was really hurt. It took a lot of months and a lot of thinking for me to be able to totally “heal” and live my life again, and even more months and thinking for me to be able to forgive him. I’ve learned a pretty big lesson on forgiveness as of lately. I forgave an old friend of mine who really hurt me awhile back, and I felt pretty damn good about it. I was like “Wow, I am honestly able to say that I forgive her,” and I’m definitely the first to admit that I’m stubborn. But here’s what I learned: The reason I am stubborn is because I’m protecting myself, because sometimes forgiving people is setting yourself up for disaster.

This particular forgiveness incident made me vulnerable. It made me go from not talking to him, to wanting to see him again. It made me go from waking up every day without needing that phone call or that email, to looking for it, waiting for it, and hoping to close every one of my days by saying goodnight. And for awhile that was all good and well and I somehow tricked myself into thinking this could all work again.

It was the distance.
He never really hurt me, we were just far away.
It’s worth another shot.
I can’t just let this go.
He didn’t mean to.

This was after a certain email I got about a month ago from him telling me that he read all of my old letters and wanted to tell me that he missed me. Okay, fine. I’m a girl. I’ve missed him all along. I’m sensitive by nature. This was all I needed. He was back in my life like that.

And we started to talk more and more. Everyday again. And started to talk about the future, and the possibility of living close and starting over again. And that we were both sad about how things ended. And all of those other things people talk about when they have that “I miss you,” talk. It felt SO sincere. So real. That’s the best way I can explain it. I don’t consider myself to be a stupid or na├»ve person, but I believed every damn word. And maybe he meant every damn word. I don’t know. I’ll never know.

So a month went by, and he was coming to Chicago on business. Busy of course, all day long. So we figured we’d make plans to see each other at night after he was done with work, but early enough so he could get a good night’s sleep before the morning work madness. It was a Tuesday. Last week.

I felt like it was my first high school dance.

Here was someone that I’d spent weeks with, who had seen me in the mornings at my worst, and yet I felt like I was sixteen again getting ready. I found myself calling my friends asking what to wear so I looked like I didn’t try too hard, but still looked my best. My heart was beating a million miles a second. I was so, so, excited. I haven’t felt like that in a long time. Probably not since I picked him up at the airport for the first time last December. It’s a crazy thing that someone can make you feel sixteen again.

And he did.

A lot of my friends showed concern about me going to see him… and in hindsight, rightfully so. My answer was simply that I had to go, because, “I had to know.”

So I got ready. I did stupid girl things like wash my hair twice just so I would have that shampoo smell in my hair the whole time. Made sure each stand of my hair was perfect even though I knew it would probably get screwed up on the train anyways. Mostly though, I was coaching myself. To calm down and not to be so excited. Reminding myself that I had to stay strong that night even if I felt moments of weakness. I had to stand my ground. But all of that aside, I was as excited as a kid on Christmas.

So 8:00 rolls around, I’ve been waiting for two hours to hear from him after a business dinner… Two hours that felt like two years. Time is funny like that. And we’d been text messaging about how excited we were to see each other, acting like nothing had ever happened between us and we could just pick up where we left off. It was an easy thing to pretend because I wanted it to be true.

I could tell by his tone that things had changed. And I started to get that gut-wrenching feeling where I was fighting the reality. The reality that he didn’t really care all of that much whether or not he saw me. How did I know that?

Well, he told me that it wasn’t going to work out and I shouldn’t get on the train because he had early work meetings. Here’s the thing though, the catch…Anyone who has ever had feelings for someone knows how it goes.

You don’t care what you have to do that night.
You don’t care what you have to do in the morning.
You don’t care if you have to hitchhike to get there—you will see that person.
It’s worth it.
You will make it happen.

That wasn’t the case.

The worst part – he knows me so damn well. He knows I spent two hours getting ready (when I am pretty sure I haven’t spent more than 30 minutes since I was like 14). He knows that the minute he told me it wasn’t going to work that I was going to lose it. And it was too damn easy for him to tell me that, and for him to go to bed right after, and sleep through the night.

Well, I cried through the night. I cried, I called my Dad. And he told me, in not-as-harsh, very true words:

Amy, people who care about each other don’t do that. He’s not worth it.

And it was the hardest thing to hear. But the absolute truth. And what else are dad’s for but moments like that? I could tell it broke his heart to know that I had been treated like that. I can’t imagine how much you must hate that guy that hurts your little girl.. but all of that is beside the point. My dad is usually one to make it seem like everything is okay. And he gave it to me straight. So that is when I realized that I had to let this go.

And you know what? It was the easiest thing I’ve ever done, that night. I picked up the phone after talking to my dad, and I called him in a complete emotional, irrational state, which I have been taught since a young age not to do, but I decided this was an exception to every rule that I’d ever been taught. So I called him, and over tears told him that I didn’t think it was right what he did to me that night, and that I could never do that to someone in a million years. And honestly, I don’t remember what else I said, but I said a few more things about how horrible I felt.

And I hung up the phone. For the last time.

And honestly, for almost a week, I’ve been okay. I have actually been impressed with myself. Usually I take these things pretty rough. I’ve been doing fine though. I guess I realized that there are so many other guys who have been and are wiling to treat me right, why am I dealing with this? I was so incredibly mad. I felt so incredibly stupid. I’ve watched my friends and dumb girls do this a million times, but me? How could I have fallen for this? How could I have been so stupid?

And it took a good friend of mine to make me realize that I wasn’t the stupid one. That he was. But I sure felt like I was. Surprisingly though, I went to sleep okay that night. And the night after, and the night after. And I didn’t even want to call him or email him or talk to him.

I still don’t.

Today I did what every girl or guy needs to do in this situation, and that’s to admit to yourself once and for all that it’s over. To get rid of that picture frame in your room that you had up, not because you thought it was real, but because you weren’t willing to let go just yet. To delete his number. To get rid of the old pictures, and the old letters. To literally, erase him from your life.

Truth is, it wasn’t all that hard. That was this afternoon.

I don’t know why but it hit me on the train. It’s so weird, I’ve been totally okay and come to terms with all of this stuff for a week now and then it hit me like a damn rock today. I started getting choked up to music and stuff. It’s not so much that I want to be with him, in fact, I know I don’t. It’s that he was such a big part of my life since I was eighteen. Almost 9 years. It’s just weird to let someone go like that, regardless of the relationship.

And sure, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss the times we had. We had so much fun. When I write about it, it makes it sound all bad, when it was really quite the opposite. Just like I said earlier, for some reason, I talk so much less about the good stuff. I’ve never had so much fun with someone—and most of the time, doing nothing at all. That’s when it’s the best. When you don’t need plans and you still have the best time of your life. Joking around, whatever. We never stopped laughing.

But, those were just moments.
This is my life.
I have to pick up. I have to move on.

I know it’s for the best. And I know it had to be done... and I thought it would take everything I had to do it. But it didn’t. At all.

Remember how I said I was going to go see him because I had to know?

So maybe that’s why this all of this happened.

Because now, without any doubt…

I know.

Monday, June 16, 2008

my mornings

i have a new morning ritual. i wake up every morning (okay, almost every morning. but i can't sleep in these days :) and i get an iced coffee at starbucks. and then i listen to my ipod i walk a mile in my neighborhood. it started because it was such a nice day out that i thought "it's too nice to go home!" and i walked around. and then i found that i enjoyed it so much.... and it made me really productive for the day. 

something about getting out in the sunshine. okay, and the caffeine might have a little something to do with it. but, also, i found it's really good for me because there hasn't been a single day that i've walked around without thinking about how much i love this city. and so it reinforces the fact for me that i need to do what i can to stay living here. it kills so many birds with one stone: leaving my place in the morning = exercise, getting me excited for the day, and motivating me by reminding me how much i love living in this city. 

i usually never write in the morning. nights are my reflection time for the most part. but i had a particularly good morning and i thought i'd put this in writing so i don't let this little ritual go. it's good for me. 

Monday, May 19, 2008

two worthwhile stories

you ever have one of those moments where you just kind of look at your life through someone else's eyes and realize just HOW lucky you are? and all of the sudden things are put into perspective and all of the sudden instead of making "to-do" lists or laundry lists of your life problems, you're making mental lists of things you're thankful for and friends you've been meaning to call or send a card to? because you realize, life really is that short. and time really does fly. they weren't lying to us when people told us that growing up. 

anyways.

two stories that made me think like this.

the first, short and sweet as it is/was, i thought about it for three days. i still think about it.

i was walking home from walgreens and there is this homeless man who sits in the corner right outside of the walgreens i go to. and, i pass him all of the time so i always say hello but that's about it, and i keep going on my way. he's in a wheelchair and he doesn't have any legs, so i've always kind of assumed he's a veteran. but once again, that's an assumption. 

i have always liked him though, because there are homeless people that beg for things, and ones that just say hello. he's one that just says hello. he doesn't pitch a sale, and i almost think that's his way of saying "i know if you had the means, you'd help out," without saying a word. he knows he doesn't have to tell people he's homeless. we know. we know why he's sitting on that corner. and we know that he'll take a dollar or a meal if we have some to spare. anyways, instead he usually says hello, or something about the weather. never anything too pushy though--so i appreciate that about him. 

well on my way home from walgreens i see an older man stop and talk to him. i slowed down my walk because i wanted to catch some of the conversation. i heard the older man say (and who knows why he would say this), "you don't have a home, and you don't have any legs." and in the fifteen seconds that i could hear them i caught the man's response... and it really stuck with me. he said "it could be a lot worse. i could not have a soul." 

how true. 

second story. i was in the grocery store on saturday and in the bread aisle looking for some bread to make sandwiches, whatever. anyways, i never really know what to buy and i don't necessarily have favorites so sometimes it takes me forever in an aisle. i must have looked puzzled or something because this woman started talking to me about which bread she eats and how it's lower in sodium, etc. she was probably late 60's. somehow her talking to me about bread led to us talking for forty five minutes. i have to admit part of the time i was frustrated, thinking things like "okay i have raw chicken in my basket, need to get home!" but i could tell that she just wanted someone to talk to, and she liked to talk. so, i listened. after all, it's just chicken. 

and we got to talking about everything, in the middle of the store. what food is good to buy when you live alone, what i want to do after school, what she does for work and her travels and men and life and wow. before i knew it, i knew this woman's life. and she knew some of mine. she mentioned a few times things about living by herself, and living down the street, always being on the road, etc. i could tell (by these subtle comments) that she was lonely. i'd guess either widowed or not ever married, no kids. and i got to thinking "gosh, that is really so true. when you're at that point in your life and you're not married and you don't have kids... who DO you talk to?" i can't imagine. 

so, we finally ended our conversation, and it was because she said something like "you should really go, i know you have a life." and i responded something like "not really!" and later, i thought about it and how lucky i am to have ten people to call if i want to talk about my day. it made me sad for her. when we were walking away she wished me luck and she said "you were really great to talk to. really. this was the best part of my whole day." it was so nice. she made my day too, when she said that. and immediately i felt bad for being frustrated and rushed during the conversation at times. and i learned a very valuable lesson on saturday--to always listen. you never know how much it may mean to someone. 

i certainly know it made me realize how much i take for granted. having a cell phone full of friends and family to call if something exciting or bad happens. 

so, two awakening sort of moments for me. and i wanted to remember them. and share them. that's all for now. 

Friday, May 02, 2008

updates and such

i feel like i used to be much better at keeping up with this thing :) i've been checking out all of my friends blogs and such and i realized that i'm totally neglecting mine. not sure what the reason for that is.

life is good. so excited for summer in the city. it's my favorite time of year, when i can sleep with my windows open and turn the heat off, but i don't need A/C yet. the city just comes alive when it gets warm outside. it's one of my favorite things about living somewhere with four seasons--the warmth is just so appreciated when it comes. i swear, the first day the sun is out people are in flip flops and crowding any restaurant or bar with patios. the sidewalks get crowded again and everyone just seems to kind of come out of this winter hibernation or what have you. i guess you don't have much of a choice when you live in chicago--it's hard to get really excited to get outside and do something when it's like a -20 windchill. so, needless to say, i'm ready for spring. and i think everyone here is! 

just wrapping up my spring classes, 2 more weeks! i'm taking 3 this summer which is going to be a lot, but i figured out that i can either then a) graduate in november (if i take 3 in the fall) or graduate in february if i decide to take my capstone class alone. we'll see, it will just depend. anyways, so exciting! the end is in sight! i can't wait to be done with my masters, it's been so much work, but i've loved it and i've learned a lot. it's still nice to know that i won't be in school forever though. for awhile it seemed that way!

it was my dad's birthday this past weekend. i can not believe my parents are 59. i guess i realized it, but it just seemed so weird to hear it... i just remember when i thought that was so old! and now that my parents are almost 60, it doesn't seem that old anymore. i know i shouldn't think about it, but i can't help but get sad about them getting older. i know it's more important to focus on the here and now, but still. anyways, spent some time with my family this past weekend--which is always very relaxing. i love being home. i also got to hang out with annie and aj and ava so that was great. all of my favorites in a weekend.

so, my brother moved back home. kind of weird. he hasn't lived at home since he was 18, and he's 30 now, so i think it's a pretty big adjustment for both my parents and my brother. it will be interesting! it was kind of hard to be home and watching him move in because we're just so different. it ended up upsetting me because i just think he takes the niceness of my parents to an extreme and takes advantage of them. i got really upset about it--almost like he's taking over their house. usually i don't want to leave my parents house, i couldn't wait to get back home. it's kind of been off my mind since then.

my car left chicago last night :-/ haha. my dad came to get it because i was in an accident a few months ago with this lady that was drunk and it's taking forever for her charges to go through and therefore get my car fixed. plus, i really don't use my car and it was costing a fortune to keep in the city for something i don't use. so, now it's in my parents garage. it will be an adjustment when it comes to grocery shopping and stuff like that, but i'll live. i'm just used to having it! at least i know it's safe... i've never really had to be 100% city girl as far as carrying groceries for blocks and taking public transportation everywhere, but i'm learning as i go... maybe i'll be a pro soon! i've gotten good at taking the bus to the train to get to my parents house... haha, it's a start.

i'm still loving my apartment. i don't think i'm going to move this october. i kind of thought maybe i should try a new area when my lease was up in october, but, i don't know. i'm so comfortable here. i like my building. i don't want to go through moving again. plus, i basically bought my things to fit in this apartment and it just feels so much like home now. i don't know if i can leave just yet... :) we'll see, few months to decide. i do love it here though. and i love my neighborhood. and i love being so close to school!

i have to say, things have been pretty good the past month or so. i can't complain. i've been a lot happier and i think it's because i found peace of mind in the fact that i can't count on other people to make me happy. i tend to do that. i need to do what's best for me. and sometimes that means that i have to let things go that i don't want to let go. all of the things with dean, they were tough, they still are. there are things that remind me of him all over this city. there are songs that remind me of him crowding my playlist. but it takes time and i know that. and i know that i will be just fine and that i deserve someone that is going to ask how my day is. and someone who isn't going to be who i wish they were, but is going to be exactly who they are. 

there's a great song by kate voegele called "wish you were." and i love this one line in it... 

"cause i've seen your act and i know all the facts, 
i'm still in love with who i wish you were." 

that's kind of how it is. i do miss him, i won't lie. but it's who i wish he was. not who i (unfortunately) found out that he was. nothing's perfect and i know that. the worst part is, at the end of that song, it says the same line, but then ends with 

"i'm still in love with who i wish you were,
 i wish you were here..." 

and i have to admit, there are days and nights that i do wish that he was here. i had a dream a few days ago that we were just hanging out in my place, like we used to when he'd come to visit, and the weirdest thing is... the part i remember most is this really big hug he gave me in my kitchen in the dream. i woke up and i felt like i had just seen him. i do miss that stuff, we had a lot of fun together. 

it will take time but i'm a strong girl with way too much confidence to let this bring me down anymore. it's getting better all the time... and waking up to a sunny day certainly helps things. 

until next time :) happy spring. 

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

i'm sitting in my apartment right now on a rainy night in chicago, listening to my newest cd, jackson browne solo acoustic volume 2. it's a perfect night for a cd like this. it's reflective, it's honest, and the lyrics are amazing. i've always loved music more on rainy days... there's something about it.

still interviewing. trying to find the right fit. i'm hanging in there. i know i'll find a good job, i just know it. :) whenever i need to lift my spirits i read my last post, because it's absolutely true. and i guess it's easy to get lost in the scheme of things sometimes, so rereading yourself think is something i can be very grateful for. 

i should say, due to last posts, that dean and i are through. the best i can make of it is that some things just aren't meant to be. and hey, it's always better to find that out sooner than later. i won't go into detail, but i'll just say that i still think he's a good person and our situations just weren't right. i watched cast away a few weeks ago, and i remembered a post i wrote years ago about that movie. i really love that movie. i mean, i hate the duration of it. i hate the hour on the island that gets kind of boring. but, i love the premise. that kelly kept him alive on that island. and the end, well, it's sad. and he comes home and realizes she was married after she had kept him alive that whole time on that island. but, as with anything, his life went on, and that's how the movie ends. i still love that quote that says, "I know what I need to do now, I need to keep breathing. Because tomorrow, the sun will rise." it's so true. we all have our own definitions of "the end of the world." but the truth is, that's all in our heads. there is so much that this world has to offer me, you, all of us. and, i seem to keep using these cliche phrases, but its really true that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. or, as robert frost said "In three words I can sum up what I know about life... it goes on." and it does. it always does. 

i'm happier than i've been in awhile. maybe that's just what i needed you know? to know that it wouldn't work, rather than to wonder. or to hope that maybe, someday, who knows? maybe it will. but i'm not staying up all night anymore. and i'm not crying or feeling bad for myself. i'm moving forward. it's a great thing. 

anyways, just wanted to post. and, i have to put these lyrics on here simply because i think they're the most amazing written words i've ever seen/heard. jackson browne is an amazing lyricist. i look up to anyone that can write the way he does.






Tuesday, March 25, 2008

at the risk of sounding cliche...

i haven't written in so long.

let's see... a lot has happened since my last post. first and foremost, i'm not in the rut that i was back then, feeling behind in life and whatnot. i've realized, with the help of a lot of good friends, family, and of course pensive thinking--my potential. it's something i've always known, but it's easy to get caught up in the mess.

i've had a lot of interviews, but unfortunately, nothing amazing as of yet. no good fit. i'm keeping at it. i'm applying to jobs every day and hearing back from them pretty often. it's keeping me busy along with school. i do love school. i'm so happy i stuck with it. i can't wait to graduate, and i can't believe it's so soon.

at the risk of sound cliche, i had an awakening on the train the other day. the train... something i used to avoid at all costs. then, i got in a car accident and now i realize how much i've taken for granted about having a car. it's really insane how used to it i am. i've had a car since i was 16, a working car. public transportation is something new to me.

anyways, the point is i was on the train after spending easter weekend with my dad. my mom was visiting her dad who is getting older, and pretty sick, so it was just my dad and i. we had a great weekend. on the train back i was looking out the window, listening to music and i realized once again how grateful i am. i have such a wonderful family, and when it gets down to it, friends that would be there for me at the drop of a hat. no matter how much i go through, i've really never felt alone. there's always someone that's willing to listen, always someone i can turn to. it's what makes everything worth it for me. i felt like i was in a movie scene looking out of the train window and just figuring everything out. i guess i've done a lot of thinking recently. i'm so optimistic about my future now. i just need to find the right fit :)

life is good. 

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

life as of lately

my sleep schedule is all messed up. i was on a good track for awhile, not sure what happened. anyways, i have some things on my mind so i felt like the best thing to do... was write. a few weeks ago in class i had to give a "passion speech." the reason my teacher does this, is because she said there was a time in her career path and in her life that she actually forgot what her passion was. she had been working too much. and so, she wanted us to think of that before it's too late.

i thought about it for a long time--and i kept returning to the same thing--writing. and i didn't prepare at all, just got up and spoke. and one of the things that i found came out of my mouth without me even realizing it was that it helps me to sleep at night if a lot is on my mind. it's like talking to someone, except for some reason way more healing. it's like i'm able to drive myself crazy by thinking in circles, but if i get it all out on paper, somehow it seems to make more sense and i can relax. i don't know... but anyways, that's what i'm up to right now. trying to get some clarity of sorts.

let's see--news, my best friend anne had her baby on feb 2. her name is ava maddison and she is so adorable. i'm so happy for her. i can't wait to meet the little girl--i haven't been able to get out to naperville yet because my car needs to be repaired (got hit by a drunk driver, luckily i was okay), and it's hard to get back and forth with school at night. but i can't wait to meet the little girl. she's sooo cute.

in my life i'm still going crazy with the job search. i had a couple of what i thought were awesome interviews, and then they hired someone else. i forgot about how taxing the job search is... because after a good interview, even though i try my best not to promise myself anything, i sort of get my hopes up. and then you get that call, or actually it's usually an email, after waiting a week hoping they pick you--and they found someone else. and then it's back to sending out the resumes and hoping for an interview. it's just so frustrating--it's kind of hard to keep your head up. i know that it's what i need in my life though because i'm driving myself crazy having too much time on my hands. i think i enjoyed it for awhile, but with all of my friends and family being so busy, it's not that fun to be home by myself all of the time. i miss being productive. i've tried to replace it with other things--but the reality is, i really really want to work again. school keeps me busy, but not busy enough. so, i'm trying to keep my head up and keep going with this job search thing. i know i'll find the right one, it's just a waiting game. i know in the end it will be better because i was not happy at loyola. i was dragging myself to work. it took hindsight for me to realize that, but seriously i am so glad i didn't get stuck there. i just need to find something else, something i love.

but, the process, i have to admit, is really getting me down at times.

this may sound kind of crazy i guess, but i just sort of feel "behind" for the first time in my life. it's hard for me, because i was always the one that got the good grades, i got a great first job right out of college, moved to the city... had a paid off car. for awhile there i was really living the life for being young. and now it's like, and i know i shouldn't compare myself to other people but i guess you can't help it, my friends are married and having kids, with stable, awesome jobs. their life is just moving forward and i kind of feel like i'm missing out. i just don't want to wake up and be 40 i guess. i know that's super pessimistic, but that's how i've kinda been thinking as of lately.

man, i haven't cried about this yet but i have to admit i just started tearing up writing this. i guess because i just faced something i've been trying my hardest to put on the back burner. but, the words just came out of my mouth.

i know all of this can be solved and i know i can get back to being successful... but this time is hard. i just feel really behind, and i guess like i'm wasting my time. i live in this awesome city but a lot of times i feel so alone because my friends are all so busy... working, dating, going to school, whatever. and i'm just kind of sitting here watching it happen.

i hate to focus on this--but just to put things in perspective--in a week i literally got two job rejections that i really thought i had a good chance at, i got in a pretty bad car accident and my car's messed up, i found out that i got accepted into a study abroad program but they need a activity fee that i just can't afford right now, the boy i like and want to see lives across the country... and there's a lot of things i think about every day that i can't even begin to understand regarding my personal life. it just seems to all be happening at once.

i miss when i was so happy with my life. i need to get that back.

i know that i need to be proactive, and i can't let myself just stay in this slump. it's affecting areas of my life that i don't want it to. i don't say a lot sometimes because i don't want to hear it myself, but also because i don't want to bring other people down with issues that i ultimately have to handle myself. let's just say i can't wait until its months from now or a year from now or whatever and i can look back on this post and go "thank god i don't feel that way anymore."

there are much more important things to focus on right now--my best friend just had a baby, one of my other best friends just got engaged and asked me to stand up in her wedding, i have awesome parents and friends and i have so many people to depend on if i ever need a hand. i know that's how i need to be thinking. and believe me, i do know how lucky i am. i really do. all of this will fall into place, i know i can handle it!

anyways, i feel better... goodnight.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

on humanity

i've been babysitting all week, and like my last post sort of mentioned, i've been a little down. several times it has crossed my mind "wouldn't it be nice to be three again?" i literally watch these kids whos day consists of playing, being cooked for, taken care of, and okay, occasionally corrected but still... their life is as simple as it's ever going to be--and they have no idea.

well today i realized when neala stuck her hand in an umbrella and pinched it, pretty bad. i mean i would have probably been tearing up, and shes three... and you know what she wanted? a bandaid, and for me to hold her on the couch. "i want amy on the couch, i want amy to hold me on the couch. i'm all better." and this may be a little "grey's anatomy type writing" but i thought for a second... maybe kids and adults aren't so different.

my point is this: we all explore things, take the chance of getting hurt, and then once we do, all we want at the end of the day is somebody to hold us and make us "all better." maybe that is one thing that doesn't change, from 3 to 30 to 60 to 100. we all just want to feel loved when we're hurt.

2008 update

the visit was awesome. we had so much fun, and i think we met a new comfort level which was a lot of fun too. the first visit was a lot of figuring each other out, this visit was a lot more relaxed, teasing each other, that kind of thing. it's always refreshing to know that you can let your guard down and just totally be yourself.

new years was great. we really didn't do much which was exactly what i wanted. i kind of feel like when you are with someone you care about, it doesn't matter what you do. originally i thought we needed plans, and then i realized, it's just another night. what did we do? we went to buffalo wild wings, played trivia, ate boneless wings, drank blue moon, and went back to my apartment to watch the countdowns and bring in the new year. haha. i loved it, it was laid back, and perfect, and it was us.

we did a lot of other fun things, too bad it was freezing so it wasn't easy to do much. the warm weather came this week, go figure, but we made the best of it. dean got to go eat all of his favorite missed chicago foods, and i got to introduce him to cafe iberico! and wildfire to meet the parents, which went really well. they really liked him, even my dad who is protective, so, that was impressive. i knew they would, but still. the visit was great. i couldn't imagine a better new years.

of course, the airport is never easy. it comes to that airport day and i wake up in the morning knowing, this is going to be a hard day... and then it is. we try to avoid it during lunch, but then it comes time that i have to drop him off, and it sucks. i've been trying to see it in a new light - think how much fun we had instead of - who knows when i'll see you next. but it's always hard to be that positive when you've had an awesome week with someone who's going to fly back across the country, for a few months probably. but, we said goodbye, and i really thought i was going to be stronger this time. nope, i cried the whole ride home. but, i guess a combination of a happy and a sad cry. certain songs still make me tear up, but it's just because i wish he was here. anyways...all in all, i couldn't ask for a person who respects me more and treats me better. he's really such a gentleman, and so much fun, and we have a blast together. i'm so grateful to have him in my life and that i had him in chicago to bring in 2008.

other updates, i haven't really been myself lately and i really noticed it because of my relationships. i started to kind of let go of things and people i care a lot about, or make irrational decisions/arguments, and not really know what to attribute them to. well, i think a combination of people made me realize (not by telling me, but by talking to me) that somethings missing in my life. like, there is some part of me that is not completely satisified and it's affecting the way i treat others and the way i think about myself. so, i've been trying to combat that. going to bed earlier, applying for more jobs, going on interviews, and just trying to occupy my time more, whether that means getting out in the morning and going for a run, or just waking up and doing laundry, just doing something with my day. it's amazing how much better i feel about myself when i'm productive. it's something i never realized when i was working because i was overworking myself, so i didn't have any "me" time. now i have too much of it. i've always been a deep thinker, and i guess i need to limit my "thinking" time to keep myself sane. if i think about something long enough, i can turn almost anything into a disaster. and that is the last thing i want.

i have so much going for me right now, i just need to get back on the ball. when i was working 50 hours a week, babysitting 10, and going to school 6, sure, i was tired, but i was satisified. at the end of the day, all i wanted to do was sleep, but i slept well because i knew that i really got things done and i was moving forward with my career and my education and that felt good. sure, at times i felt like i was paying rent just to "sleep here" and i didn't feel like i had time to get together with friends for dinner and stuff like that, and that gets tough too. but lately, i've really let myself slip into this comfortable do what you want all day sort of attitude... and i've really gotten way too comfortable with it to be honest. i miss being more motivated, and having a really detailed to-do list. and goals. lots of goals. some that i knew would take me ten years, but i knew i would do them, and some that would get done by the end of the week. i've always been a really motivated person and i'm not sure what happened to me as of lately.

christmas break really made me realize it because the kids were out of town, and my school is on break, and all of the sudden i had NOTHING to do. it was like, i never thought i'd be this way at 26. i always saw myself as an overachiever, because i always was, and i've almost turned into the opposite. i'm not beating myself up yet, it's only been like 3 months without a job, but i know what i need to do and that is to get back on track. occupy my day. it might take me a little bit to find a job, but i can find other things to do. i need to get out, figure out what i want in life and i need to go get it. because it's not fair to me and my potential not to do so, and it's not fair to the people in my life that i'm ending up taking this lack of self-satisfaction out on. i'm just happy i've placed the problem. now it's time to go do something about it. will update. happy new year :)