Category: what’s inside


i vote that no one should be allowed to make me do anything until AFTER about 9:00am. do we have a deal?

February 9th, 2010 — 4:00am

A week from today, I start my NAC class. (Stands for “Nursing Assistant-Certified.” It used to be called “CNA” instead of “NAC,” and I don’t have any idea how long ago they changed it, but I’m having a heck of a time switching.) Becoming an NAC is part of my plan to ultimately go to PA school (“Physician Assistant” …too many acronyms here, I know), and then finally become a PA.

So my class is in Seattle and it starts at 7:30 in the morning. I know that normal, productive people are like, “What’s wrong with 7:30? It’s my favorite time of the day. It’s my time right after yoga class, when I eat my fiber-full bran muffin and peruse the New York Times. You know, right before I solve world hunger at 8:00.” But I’m not like that. For me, 7:30 is stupidly early. I know I’ll suck it up and rise to the occasion or whatnot. Maybe I’ll become a morning person or something. Who knows. Stranger things have happened. I think. At least it only lasts five weeks. Short and sweet. I can hack it.

But… I’m nervous. Not about the difficulty of the NAC class. I’m optimistic that I’ll do okay with the material. It’s not even the early-morning issue that makes me nervous. At least not directly. What gets me worried is time.

TIME!

It’s all I’ve had lately. Soooo muuuuch tiiiiiiime. I know, I know, I’m the only one in the world who has ever had an excess of free time. But I did. And I liked it. As deadening and soul-sucking as it was to feel like I didn’t have direction, it sure was amazing to have tons of free time.

This move to Washington has been the catalyst for tons of changes in my life, one of them being less and less time to spare. I’m back at college, and I love it. I also love that college has been the only thing putting demands on my schedule. I’ve got all the time in the world to study. This NAC class will change that. I’m fully aware of how thoroughly ridiculous I sound. But I feel it, so I’m going to say it and just hope no one holds it against me. I’m worried I’m going to have a hard time getting used to balancing more than a couple things at once again. It’s been a long time, folks.

Plus, I probably wouldn’t mind as much if class started, oh I don’t know, after the sun came up? ;)

3 comments » | for my amusement, if i ruled the world, quirks, what's inside

my sunday evening quotes

February 7th, 2010 — 11:29pm

I’m feeling the urge for some Sunday evening quotes again. Too bad by the time I’m finally posting this, they’re not really “evening” quotes anymore… more like “ridiculously late Sunday night/early Monday morning” quotes. Ah well. Here are two that jumped out at me tonight as I fanned through my quote book.

I recovered my immense will to live when I realized that the meaning of my life was the one I had chosen for it.  Paul Coelho

Life, wrote a friend of mine, is a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along. E.M. Forster

I didn’t remember until just a minute ago that I quoted this E.M. Forster line in an old post on an old blog from what feels like an impossibly long time ago.  It seems appropriate that the same quote that affected me then—as I first started plowing through this funk—affects me now, years later, as I’m finally emerging from it. I have a very different feeling about this quote now, though. It’s somehow more comforting and less ominous than it was then.

Comment » | books, quotes, what's inside

complete

December 25th, 2009 — 11:50pm

tea lights

I’ve got this Excel spreadsheet on my desktop titled “moving list.” It’s a huge, exhaustive list of all the things we needed to do before we could move. It was long and daunting and usually overwhelming. During the past two months the file was nearly always open, waiting for me to check something else off the list.

Tonight I’m sitting here in my living room next to a dozen glowing tea lights in front of my ridiculously bushy (and free, and undecorated) Christmas tree. I’m here with my laptop on the floor, because we have to wait another four days before our belongings arrive, and for the first time in over a week, I noticed that Excel file on my desktop.

I opened the list to have a look and it suddenly struck me: the list is complete.

I’m amazed. Somehow we managed to get everything done/sold/cleaned/packed, get ourselves to Seattle, and get an apartment. Now we’re here. It almost feels like it was simple. How can that be? It felt so complicated at the time.

But here right now, it’s so peaceful. …Goodnight. Merry Christmas.

2 comments » | good things, lists, pictures, travels, we live here now, what's inside

big changes

November 19th, 2009 — 11:50am

Well, I figured it out.

I don’t know how it happened, but something clicked, and suddenly everything is right.

Remember my drought of ideas? How I struggled to muster up my go-power? How I was afraid of leaving my comfort zone? Or how about my inability to make big decisions without stewing over them f o r e v e r first?

I hesitate to say this because it sounds a little foolhardy, but I think I’m over it. At least for now. I know I’m not a different person—I still have the same personality flaws and weaknesses—but in some small way, I am different. Less hesitant, less fearful, more optimistic, more willing to step into the unknown. I found my momentum again. And let me tell you, the momentum is picking up.

Big changes are happening in my life. And what’s better, they’re big changes that I feel excited and confident about. I should probably admit that sometimes my confidence wanes, but those times always pass if I don’t cling to them. And since I’m being honest, you have to know that there’s still a little fear and nervousness with me in all this, but they don’t control me. Plus, I think those feelings are understandable. Especially considering what we’re doing.

We’re moving. To Seattle. That’s a place I’ve never been. We’re going without a place to live or a job lined up. Bryant and I are packing up our little cave of an apartment and simply driving away. I guess we’ll figure it all out when we get there. Oh yeah, did I mention, all this is happening really soon? Cause it is. In just over three weeks. Oh yeah, did I mention, I’m going back to school? Cause I am. Class starts the first week of January.

Oh, and did I mention, I couldn’t be happier. :)

4 comments » | hopes, travels, we live here now, what's inside

religion and freedom

September 28th, 2009 — 5:33pm

I don’t understand people who claim that our country is falling apart because we don’t have religious freedom anymore. “Our children don’t pray in school.” “Our children aren’t being taught about God.” I’m sorry, but if your children aren’t praying in school, it’s because they’re making their own choice not to. If your children aren’t being taught about God, it’s because you aren’t teaching them. School is not the place for mandated prayer time, and it’s not the place for catechism.

What is this notion that prayer has been brutally stripped from the classroom?

No child gets punished for taking a moment to bow her head and say a prayer in the lunch room before she eats. No child gets arrested for saying a prayer at his desk before he takes his spelling test. That’s why I don’t understand this claim that prayer isn’t in the schools anymore. What do these people want? They want their child’s calculus teacher to start the lesson with a prayer? They want the teacher to force the children to kneel down and pray together at the end of the day? What about people of different religions? Should we ship them away? Segregate our schools by religion? I don’t get it.

And what is this notion that kids aren’t allowed to be taught about God? That we don’t talk about religion and its role in history?

I just was flipping through the news channels and stopped on Glenn Beck’s show. I usually avoid this show, but I was so fascinated with the people speaking that I couldn’t change the channel. It was some kind of “mother’s forum” where the audience members were airing their grievances. Many were complaining about how their children don’t learn history anymore, so they’re losing their identities. Er, when was the last time these people sat through their children’s classes? Because I just sat through a 5th grade class last Thursday as a volunteer, and the whole time I was there they were learning about history. George Washington. This nation’s founding. It was pretty clearly a history lesson to me.

The people on this show were saying that their children weren’t being taught about how important religion was in the establishment of this land. Er, I’m pretty sure if you ask any mildly attentive high schooler why the pilgrims came to the Americas, they would tell you that they were seeking “religious freedom.” If you asked them if the founding fathers were religious, they would know that they most definitely were. In my own history classes, we discussed many different religions’ basic beliefs. We learned about who founded what, when, and why. We had a unit where everyone did a presentation on a different early-American religious group. As an eleventh grader, I taught a whole lesson about Joseph Smith. I didn’t get sent to jail. Neither did anyone else who taught about other religions, however unique or unconventional (or mainstream) they were.

This is what religious freedom is. We don’t impose our beliefs on others. We create an atmosphere where it’s safe to learn about all kinds of people and faiths. We don’t force anyone to adopt any behavior they don’t approve of. Children are allowed to pray in schools, but they aren’t forced to. We don’t hang the Ten Commandment’s from the ceiling, but we don’t punish people for keeping them in their hearts.

We live our religious beliefs within ourselves… it’s the way we act, the ideals we hold inside, the way we treat others, the way we choose to worship in our free time. We don’t need the government or our schools to enforce our own personal religious codes. We simply create a space where everyone can practice their beliefs “how, where, or what they may.” If you feel very strongly that a more personal view of religion and God needs to be infused with your child’s schooling, then more power to you. That’s why this country allows you to home school your child, to send your child to a private school, or even to start up your own charter school. We all have options. That’s what’s so great. We all are free to choose, regardless of whether we’re Muslim, Catholic, Jain, Mormon, or atheist.

The people on this Glenn Beck show were saying that they’re tired of the government trying to make us dependent on it for everything. Then why are they so insistent that the government enforce religion? It seems to me religion is a personal issue, taught in your home, fostered in your heart, and practiced on an individual level. I don’t understand its place in public schools beyond the scope of informing our children about the different belief systems that exist in our society.

One last thing and then I’ll cap it. The people on that show were also saying that we don’t live a free country anymore. They said that “we’re only partly free,” and one woman—a black woman, no less—asserted that after the fifties, everything began to fall apart. So I guess that granting civil rights to blacks and suffrage to women were all steps backwards in extending freedom to our citizens?

I think that their assertion that we’re not quite free wedged itself so deeply under my skin largely because of the movie I watched last night.  Bryant and I watched The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, a World War Two movie about a death camp, and it was still very fresh in my mind.  I think I got so annoyed at the people on that show because I felt like they weren’t taking seriously what they were saying. They’re not free? Really? Not being free is not being able to voice your opinion for fear of serious repercussions, like the torture and murder of you and your family. Not being free is having to hide who you are—your heritage and your beliefs—because if people knew the truth, you would be ripped from your home and sent to a gas chamber. Not being free is not being able to help a stranger in need without being beaten to death by the authorities. Not being free is having to agree with the government no matter what.

Not being free is definitely not a Mormon hosting his own talk show on a cable network in a room full of women passionately voicing their disapproval of the President, his administration, and various aspects of our nation. That is freedom. It may bug the crap out of me, but it most definitely is freedom. And I’ll take it.

9 comments » | if i ruled the world, politics, what i watch, what's inside

roll the window down (hit play: passenger seat)

September 25th, 2009 — 11:42am

I was the only one on the road for miles. No lights shone before or behind me, only the stars above and the glowing half-moon. No lamp posts lit my way ahead on the curving canyon road, only my own cockeyed headlights.

Death Cab’s “Passenger Seat” began to play (listen to it in my player over there on the right), and I rolled my window down. Cold, night air poured in. I turned on the heater. I know it might seem ridiculous, but I couldn’t ignore the necessity of an open window as I drove through the deep night in such a tranquil canyon with music like that playing. And since the autumn mountain air is a bit nippy, a blowing heater takes just the right edge off. It’s a method my roommate and I perfected on stressful college nights when we needed a release. Call me crazy, but try it sometime and you’ll understand why I do it.

There was no stress tonight, though. I felt deliciously content. Happy. Beautiful dark mountains, changing seasons, the freedom of a full tank of gas, and the irreplaceable feeling of someone waiting for me at home.

Michael Stipe was telling me about how he’ll take the rain as I drove down the highway and approached my exit. His voice flooded my car. It filled up every possible space, rushed into every corner, to the point of bursting. Nearly.

It was quite possibly a perfect night. The ride up the mountain was just as refreshing as the ride down, as was the company in between.

It’s good for me to change my rhythm every now and again.

Remember being a kid and riding in the car with your friends, the windows down, singing along with your favorite song at the top of your lungs? How come we don’t do that as adults? I hope, many years down the road, after much more life has happened to me, I still find occasion to sing at the top of my lungs with friends in my car.

3 comments » | hopes, music, nostalgia, the great outdoors, travels, what's inside

fear of stuff

September 22nd, 2009 — 5:03pm

I’m a creature of habit. I’m not sure if I’ve always been this way, or if it’s a character quirk that has developed as I’ve gotten older and more comfortable in my ways. Or said more honestly, as I’ve become less comfortable in others’ ways.

I guess what I’m getting at is I’m sometimes afraid to try new things. And by “sometimes,” I mean frequently. I’m not afraid of simple things like trying new foods or whatnot. It’s other kinds of things that scare me. Not that they’re not also “simple;” they’re just different. A few weeks ago, I had to go to the repair shop to get my bicycle fixed, and that made me a little tense. My hesitancy had something to do with not knowing the first thing about bikes and not knowing what kind of help to ask for when I got there. Weird, right? Another more recent event was driving to an unfamiliar location to fill out some paperwork for a job application. I nearly talked myself out of this one. It’s bad enough that I’d never been to the building before, but add a potential job into the mix, and forget it. I felt so nervous I’d actually classify it as fear.

The good thing is you probably wouldn’t notice my nerves in these situations (unless you were, say, my husband, who hears every grievance my scared little imagination can muster) because once I’m there in the middle of it, I play if off pretty well. I smile easily, talk casually, and act like I’ve got it (mostly) together. There is a high probability that I’ll blush though. Of course.

I don’t think I used to be this jumpy about simple things. Or maybe it’s just really easy for me to gloss over the “way I used to be” and remember my youth as this glowing success story. Whatever the case, the fact still remains that this is how I am now. I don’t like it. It gets pretty annoying, honestly. Especially when realizing that my worries are simply an invention of my crazy brain still doesn’t make the feeling go away.

I think this is something I could practice getting better at. Today I did something that I was afraid to do, and it worked out just fine. I’m thinking of something I could do tomorrow, too. Wouldn’t it be good if I could teach myself out of this silly rut?

…Am I really about to post this? Who are all you people reading these silly, embarrassing, immature things about me? And why do I even feel the need to click “publish?” I’ll chalk it up to narcism. ;)

5 comments » | quirks, what's inside

brain crack, and the space between zero and one

September 21st, 2009 — 12:38pm

Is it lame to post someone else’s ideas about a topic like this? Mmmmmm… I’m still doing it. I am, after all, a victim of brain crack.

Aaand along those lines…

I stumbled on these videos at the show with zefrank (after first stumbling across his stuff at Writing to Reach You). I’ve only watched a few, but I generally get a good kick out of them.

I get what he’s talking about. Why has it been so hard for me to find that “get up and go”? To do something with these ideas I’ve been toying with for years? (Years!) I recently realized that as a result of me sitting on so many ideas for so long, new ideas simply don’t come as often. Similarly, I’ve discovered that holding out on tackling a dream doesn’t just make that dream more difficult to accomplish; it makes it harder to dream about anything in the first place.

But my life has been exciting lately because now that I’ve realized all this has happened, I’m able to change it. I’m feeling those dreams and new ideas start to churn again. It’s similar to that sensation when you suddenly recall an old, pleasant childhood memory that’s been buried away and forgotten for ages. It’s startling and exhilarating.

It’s not frustrating and doused in guilt, like it’s been so often in the past. It’s exciting and energizing. Still a little scary, but mostly motivating.

(pssst, sorry for the cursing at the end of the first video, ma.)

2 comments » | hopes, quirks, what's inside

everyone’s lonely

June 13th, 2009 — 8:33pm

How is it that so many people can feel so alone all at once and all in the same place? Weird, huh? Has it always been like this?

I think loneliness is really more like fear disguised as melancholy… fear of reaching out, fear of rejection, fear of who knows what… I think sometimes there doesn’t really have to be something to be afraid of for fear to exist. Sometimes it’s just fear. And so, sometimes it’s just loneliness.

3 comments » | just wondering, what's inside

it's just an opinion

May 11th, 2009 — 6:17pm

Have you ever had something you feel very strongly about and really want to talk about, but for some reason you feel like you’re not allowed to talk about it because you don’t know who you might offend? …Even though your opinion is not meant to be offensive at all… it’s just your opinion, not something meant to hurt anyone.

Yeah, I hate that.

5 comments » | if i ruled the world, what's inside

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