Heeeey Ya (I’m Just Bein’ Honest)

 

charlotte

Hey, all. It’s been a little while, but this is a post I’ve been thinking about for a couple of months. See, last year, Sarah posted a 25 Before 25 bucket list for her 25th birthday, and Jeannette has been writing about 25 life lessons leading up to her 25th birthday. Mine was this past August, and I thought about doing something similar, but I wasn’t sure what. Around the beginning of that month, a certain meme started showing up quite frequently on Imgur, one of the sites I browse when I’m bored. According to Know Your Meme, the Confession Bear allows people to post fairly anonymous confessions (linked to their user account for Reddit or Imgur, of course) “about taboo behaviors and controversial opinions that are often kept secret for fear of being ostracized.”

After seeing all of these, I figured I would go a completely different direction: 25 confessions, or 25 not-so-well-known facts about me, because I’m not ashamed of any of these, really. But, this was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I started making a list at the beginning of August, and as my birthday approached, I only had about 8 confessions. My birthday passed, and I still hadn’t written anything. I started getting busy with other stuff (new job!) and work (still my old job, too!) and I’m just now getting around to posting this. As it has been some time since my last post, I wanted to put a good effort into it, so I wrote it list + image style, like my other time-wasting site, Buzzfeed. So here they are… in the words of Usher, these are my confessions…

1. I can never spell “occasion” correctly. (I misspelled it typing up this post.)

2. I can’t ride a bike or whistle. (But you probably already knew that.)
Sadly, this also means that I cannot whistle while I twerk.

3. Charlotte and I have this Secret Single Behavior in common.char

4. I’m afraid that my hair will be completely white or grey by the time I’m 30.
I *am* Grad School Barbie. (via joannarenteria.com)

5. I don’t get the hype of Dr. Who, nor do I care enough to find out. (#sorrynotsorry)

6. I want to ride a zipline, and drive my car really fast on a closed race course, but don’t worry, that’s as far as my James Bond-esque aspirations go.

7. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people spell my name wrong… and it’s like, right there.

8. I have a hard time getting rid of “good boxes.” (It’s possibly a genetic thing. As far as I know, my Pop originated the “good box” concept.)

9. Contrary to popular opinion, I think that Godfather Part II is actually the worst of the Godfather movies. It goes 1, 3, and then 2.
Except for this part. The rest of the movie is too 70’s, but I love this scene.

10. I have this weird thing about being curious about how people decorate the inside of their homes while I’m driving by. (Definitely not in a creepy, “just for future reference” way. We’re guilty of it, too: big front window, sheer blinds, and always with the lights on. Its not my fault I can see that you watch FOX News while I’m in my car, going the speed limit.)

11.Ok, maybe not a whole pizza, but its good to have ambition and hold yourself to high standards.

12. I have a hard time taking an “adult” (and I use that term loosely) seriously when they’re wearing something with trademarked or licensed cartoon character (Disney or Looney Tunes, mostly) on it out in public.

13. Liz Lemon is my spirit animal.
Ask my mom about it sometime… if you dare.

14. I will NOT keep calm, and I’m so over those signs/posters. Same with mustaches. Don’t mustache all the things.

15. I have zero intentions of trying to “feel like a princess” on my wedding day. I’ve never asked to be coddled like a perfect princess, I’m a big girl, and I want to have a big girl, grown up day where my husband is equally as important as me, gosh darn it. (None of that, “this is your big day!” It’s his big day, too.)
However, I’m equal parts terrified and intrigued by My Big, Fat, Gypsy Wedding.

16. Growing up, there were never any babies or little kids around, so I have no idea how to interact with elementary aged kids. Now that I have friends with babies, I’m starting to understand it, but I still don’t get baby talk.

17. I have an overwhelming urge to smell all the candles in stores. Never go in Yankee Candle with me unless you’re prepared to be there for at least a half hour and to indulge me by smelling candles I like.
rage

18. You might be a bit surprised by the amount of time I spent in detention during the 5th grade. I was also sent home on the last day of 8th grade for wearing colored hair mascara (it was dark red on my dark brown hair) for our talent show. I guess you could say I’ve always had a kind of “fight the power” attitude.

19. I used to think that the negligees and fancy slips in JCPenney’s catalogs were really pretty dresses and wanted to wear one for my someday-wedding.

20. If I didn’t find a job in higher ed within two years of graduating with my master’s degree, I was planning on giving up looking for one. I was getting worried that things would get awkward with me for my friends who have been working in higher education.

21. I’m afraid no one will dance at my wedding.
Even if it’s like this, that’s ok. Please dance.

22. I won’t use a public restroom unless I absolutely have to.

23. If my feet are cold, I will more than likely bury them under you while sitting on the couch.

24. I can’t stand Seinfeld. I don’t get it’s popularity. I just don’t think its funny.

25. I get annoyed when my phone tries to autocorrect words that my sister and I have made up. Know our language already!
textAlright. There they are. Tell me something about yourself!

“Learning Not to Hope For What I Can’t Control”: Some Novel Melodrama

Jeannette’s most recent post is very fitting for my own life right now. The calm that came after graduation quickly devolved into a kind of chaos that is coming from all directions and exists at the middle of feelings of great happiness and great sadness. Happy or sad, life throws us for a loop sometimes and we end up scrambling to keep our feet planted firmly on the ground and keep our minds level. The bottom line is that when you’re stressed, or things aren’t going your way, or you are upset over something, you need to remember what is truly important and how to prioritize. You also need to put your problems into perspective.

There’s a quote floating around on Pinterest about the problems we all have:

Sometimes, our problems seem insurmountable. And sometimes they are almost more than we can bear. But humans are amazingly resilient and strong — we are capable of great things and can overcome that which seems to be impossible. Difficulties are often not as bad as they originally seem, because once we move away from our singular and narrow perspectives, we often see that our problems are not as bad when compared to those faced by others. Placing our problems in perspective doesn’t solve them, but it makes them easier to deal with.

———————————————————————————————————–

Hopefully, in reading my blog posts, you’ve learned some things about me. One of the things that I think carries through my musings is that I have a great appreciation for the world around me and everything it can teach me. I take great inspiration from the movies I watch, the music I listen to, the trips I take, the speakers I hear, the photos I view, and most importantly, the books I read.

I’m a book lover, but not what I would call a book snob. I see the value in every book, whether it is a profoundly moving or groundbreaking classic or a fun, easy read. Books convey human emotions and interactions to us, and even if the story itself isn’t the most original or creative, we can still learn things from them. Books are also cathartic and, sometimes, the simple act of reading a story can allow us to center our own thoughts and feelings on an issue going on in our own lives.

I recently read a novel published a few years ago that was just this kind of book. I purchased it last year when Borders was going out of business and thought it would be a simple, quick read. And it was, but at the same time it wasn’t. The events and relationships within gave me great pause, and made me very glad for the life that I have — even if it is sometimes boring, frustrating, or not exactly as I want it to be.

“Roses” by Leila Meachem is billed as a modern “Gone With the Wind, ” tracing the triumphs and tragedies of a wealthy Texas family over the course of the twentieth century. It is a love story, but not just one between two characters. In this case, it is also a love story between families, and between people and their heritage. “Roses,” however, is also a story of hate, jealousy, and stubbornness — and what can happen when those feelings define relationships and family structures.

“Roses” is a frame story, beginning in the present and repeatedly reflecting on past events. The novel revolves around the character of Mary Toliver who, at more than 80 years old is re-evaluating her life and choices. Widowed and with no children, Mary is herself facing the end of her life. With little time left, she wants to correct the mistakes she feels she has made and she sets out to do so, changing her will to reflect her new interpretation of the past. Since childhood, Mary’s life has been completely invested in her family’s 100 year old cotton plantation, Somerset. She has sacrificed over and over for Somerset’s success, which has paid off as Somerset proper is now only one small part of a larger corporation, Toliver Farms.

Without warning, Mary abruptly decides to sell Toliver Farms and Somerset instead of leaving the company and plantation under the care of her niece Rachel, who has been learning the family business since childhood. Before Mary can explain her reasoning, however, something occurs that throws everything  into a state of chaos that leaves all who know Mary confused and shocked.

It quickly becomes apparent that the story of Mary Toliver is not solely her own. It is also the story of Mary’s oldest friend Percy Warwick, the story of her late husband Ollie Du Mont, and the story of her brother Miles Toliver (Rachel’s grandfather). It is the story of another will and its consequences, the story of curses and superstitions, the story of how our choices can affect everything.

—————————————————————————————————–

I really enjoyed “Roses.” But it is not for the faint of heart. It is a roller coaster ride of human emotion that will simultaneously make you want to stay up all night reading and make you want to throw the book across the room. It’s happy in its own way, but it is not a happily ever after kind of happy.

I makes you think about what is really important in life, about how life is different today than it was 75 – 100 years. It also horrified me in terms of how some people treated each other, and made me feel very lucky that my family is not that way.

Have you ever read a book that made you think this way? What are you planning on reading this summer?

Let me know, and, happy reading!