You’re Insecure, But That’s No Excuse

I haven’t forgotten about the 30 day blogging challenge.  I was just waiting for another Sunday Lists post to share the next topic.

This week’s list: 3 Things I Like About My Personality

3.) I like that I’m very sensitive.  There are times when I hate this because it can be a little embarrassing … I mean, I will actually start to tear up sometimes if I’m even just telling someone a story that I find moving in some way.  But I like that I feel things so deeply because I think it helps me relate to others a little more.

2.) I like that I’m driven.  I may not be exactly where I thought I’d be at the age of 29, but I work hard for the things I have.  I have very specific goals in mind relating to my career, buying a home, starting a family, etc., and I plan to achieve them.

1.) I like that I’m not afraid to be myself.  There are a lot of sides to my personality, but I’m never ashamed of any of them.  I tend to think that people will either like me or they won’t … So why waste time trying to get them to like someone I’m not?

If anyone feels like sharing, what are the 3 things you like best about your own personality?

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I Strain My Eyes And Try To Tell The Difference Between Shooting Stars And Satellites

I wish I had something really awesome to write about for today’s 30 day blogging challenge topic … But I don’t.  Not really.  I’m going to try to make it work anyway.

This week’s topic: The Best Thing That Happened To Me This Week

Like I said, I wish I had a great story to share.  It would be awesome to be able to say, “My life is really exciting, so great things happen all the time!”  But … That’s not real life.  At least not mine.

This week has actually been particularly shitty because I’ve been sick.  I had a cough for about a week that was mostly just annoying.  Then, suddenly, I was sick.  Last Friday I started feeling worse, and the weekend basically consisted of me laying around on the couch, reading and watching TV (and coughing and blowing my nose).  I also had a fever on and off for four days.  Ugh.  I’m still sick, though I’m slowly starting to come out of my funk.  Very slowly.

Anyway, since I’ve been sick, I really haven’t done much.  I go to work, I come home, I read, I watch TV with Eric, I update my blog … And that’s about it.  I just haven’t had the energy to do anything else.  And since I haven’t done much, well … There’s nothing too exciting to share.

I realize this has turned into a rant about being sick.  I also realize no one really wants to read something like that.  So … Sorry.

Instead of making this entire post about how shitty it is to be sick, though, I’m going to end by sharing a few positive things (however small some might be).

I finished my fourth book of the year.  I still have a ton of catching up to do if I want to hit my goal of 50 this year, but it’s still progress!

Eric and I tried a new recipe on Saturday night.  Even though I felt like crap that day, I had fun cooking with my husband.  (Oh, and the recipe also turned out well.  I’ll be sharing it soon!)

And finally, the biggest piece of news.  I mentioned it in last Saturday’s post, but I’ll mention it again because it’s definitely the best thing that has happened in the recent past.  I was offered a new position within my current company last week!  I won’t start until later this month, but it’s a move I’m really looking forward to.  My new position comes with added responsibilities and a slight pay bump, which is always nice.  While I love my current coworkers and boss, I really felt like it was time for me to make a move in order to further my career.  I can’t wait to get started!

You Will Be Dispensed With When You’ve Become Inconvenient

I’m going to modify a 30 day blogging challenge topic for today’s Sunday Lists post.  The topic originally just asked bloggers to name one thing, but I’ll be naming three today.

This week’s list: Three Disgusting Things I Do

3.) Drink pickle juice straight from the jar

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Claussen dill pickles are my personal favorite.  Image courtesy of caloriecount.about.com.

When I was younger, I’d sit down at the kitchen table with a jar of pickles and not get up again until every last one had been eaten and the juice was completely gone.  These days I don’t polish off an entire jar in one sitting, but I do continue to drink the juice if I’m eating the last pickle (or five).

I love pickles, so I don’t really think this is too gross.  Other people definitely do, though!

2.) Bite my nails

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Image courtesy of www.wisegeek.com.

I’ve always bitten my nails.  I’ve tried to stop several times in the past, but I can never seem to stop completely.  I don’t do it because I’m nervous or anxious, though.  I just do it.  I don’t know why.

This is probably more of a bad habit than a disgusting one, but I know a lot of people find nail biting to be gross.

1.) Peeling off skin after a sunburn

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Image courtesy of www.handmademen.com.

I know that I really shouldn’t be allowing myself to get sunburnt in the first place, but it happens.  Unfortunately, I can’t stop myself from peeling off the layers of skin (just like in the photo above) as it heals.

What’s more disgusting than that?  The fact that I also like to peel Eric’s skin if he gets a sunburn.  I think it creeps him out a little, but he still lets me do it (for whatever reason).

In Your Eyes I See And Feel It All

This week I’ve decided to continue working through my 30 day blogging challenge for my Friday Lounge post.  (I kind of need to do this … Otherwise I may never finish!)

So today I’ll share a date I would love to go on.

I’ve had some really great dates over the years.  They haven’t all been extravagant, but sometimes little things like discovering a new favorite place to eat (even if it’s kind of a hole in the wall) make for the best dates.

The date idea I’ll be sharing today is something I didn’t even know was a thing until very recently.  I mean, I knew these types of classes existed (and I’ve wanted to take one for quite a while!) … But I wasn’t really sure where to find a one time class that would be ideal for a couple.

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This is a picture of the local Whole Foods, though I can’t take credit for taking it.  Image courtesy of http://www.weitz.com.

I’m talking about cooking classes. 

Apparently Whole Foods offers these types of classes pretty regularly.  At $25/person, they seem like a pretty good deal.  I just searched through the February events and realized there was a class yesterday evening.  This is kind of a bummer since the meal we’d be learning to prepare sounds like something we’d both want to have often: shrimp alla Santorini over orzo, meatballs with a side of tzatziki, and chocolate baklava triangles.

Now that I know about these classes, though, I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for a good one.  Eric and I already enjoy cooking together, so I think a cooking class would be a fun date for us. 

If anyone reading this feels like commenting, what are some of your favorite date ideas?

I’m A Slow Motion Accident

I’m starting to get a little annoyed with the 30 day blogging challenge I started.  When I first found it on Pinterest, I was excited because it didn’t ask a bunch of the same old “What do you have in your purse?” kind of questions you typically see in these kinds of challenges.  But I guess I didn’t read everything that carefully in the beginning because as I go down the list, I find myself thinking that a lot of the topics are kind of lame.

This week, for example, I’m supposed to share things I want to say to an ex.

On June 2nd, Eric and I will be celebrating 7 years together.  Obviously that means that all of my other relationships ended quite a while ago.  At this point, then, I think everything that needs to be said has been said already.  I mean, each of those relationships ended for a reason … And those reasons don’t really matter anymore.  I’m not totally heartless or anything.  I’ve just (obviously) moved on with my life, and I’m sure they have as well.

So this week I’ll be writing about something else.  I haven’t done a “Blast from the past” post in quite a while (since August!), so I’ve decided to share a funny anecdote from my younger years.  

This week’s blast from the past post: The pigtail incident

When I was in first grade, my mom often put my hair in pigtails for school.  I wish I had a picture of myself from that time period available to give an accurate visual, but it looked something like this:

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Again, this is not me (though that’s probably obvious).  I thought this picture was cute, though, and my hair was about that length and about that thick at the time of this story.  Image courtesy of djuqyguns.blogspot.com.

I was sitting in front of a boy in class one day, minding my own business.  Suddenly, I heard a noise … Kind of a “snip.”  

Yeah … He cut my hair.  In class.

To make matters worse, he cut a few inches off of only one pigtail.  So there I was, lopsided for a day.  I’m pretty sure I cried at some point because, you know, he cut my hair in class.  (Plus, I was only 6 years old … So it was pretty traumatic!)

As soon as the teacher realized what had happened, he got in trouble.  She also swept up the hair he cut off and put it in a plastic Ziploc bag for him to take home (along with a note to his mother explaining what happened).  I have no idea if he actually took it home or not (or if his mom ever saw the sad clump of hair), but it made me feel a little better at the time.

I had to have my hair evened out later, of course.  It sucked at the time, but at least it gives me a funny story to share now!

I Catch A Brief Reflection Of What You Could And Might Have Been

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  What might surprise many people is that Eric and I don’t really celebrate this “holiday.”  Sure, in the past we’ve made homemade cards for one another or purchased small gifts … But this didn’t happen every year, and it was never something we made a huge deal over.

The reason I brought it up, though, is because this week’s 30 day blogging challenge topic is all about love.

This week’s topic: My Current Relationship

There are a lot of things I could say about my relationship with Eric, but I’ve decided that the story I want to share is the story of how we met and wound up together.

In May/June 2007, Eric and I both took a trip to China.  The trip was sponsored through a company called ISLP (International Scholar Laureate Program), and students and recent graduates throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam were invited to attend based on grades, extracurricular activities, etc.  Eric and I both happened to be invited (though oddly enough, he was originally invited to attend a different type of program and he actually requested to attend this one, which was focused on medicine).

Once we were there, we were put in the same small group.  I was so jet-lagged when we arrived that I don’t really remember much from the first day … It was pretty much an initial introduction to the program, breaking up into small groups, and then heading back to our hotel rooms for some much needed rest.

On the second night, however, I ended up running into Eric in the hotel lobby.  He was with another guy from the group and I was with a few of the girls.  We all decided we’d hang out together in the beer garden at the hotel, and Eric and I ended up talking quite a bit.  The first thing I noticed?  He remembered my name.

That probably sounds really ridiculous, but that first day was a blur.  The fact that he remembered my name made me feel special (I mean, I assume everyone else probably felt as exhausted and hazy as I did that first day).

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This is obviously not the greatest picture ever (he and I aren’t even sitting next to each other and my face is practically covered by the beer mug!), but it’s the first time the two of us were ever in a picture together.  Awww.  (By the way, if you don’t recognize us from other pictures, I’m the third person from the left and he’s in the red shirt second from the right.)  Personal photo.

After that night, Eric and I started spending a lot of time together.  We took charter busses through the cities we visited (though we flew from city to city), and he and I would always sit together and talk (in some cases we’d literally be talking for hours while we traveled to our next destination).  Time seemed to pass so quickly during those rides … I remember finding it so easy to talk to him and starting to realize that I was developing feelings for him.  My heart would beat a little faster when he would sit next to me, and it felt like a jolt of electricity through my body if our hands or legs would touch as we shifted in our seats.

It wasn’t until we’d made it to the second city (Xi’an) that he and I shared our first kiss.  It was a beautiful night … We’d been out together all evening.  We started off with a group of people from the trip, and then it was suddenly just the two of us under the stars.  I don’t even remember what prompted us to walk over and sit down on a bench, but when we did, he moved closer and then we were kissing.  It felt like the whole world had slipped away and it was just the two of us, together.  I hadn’t felt like that in a long time … It was amazing.

By the end of the trip, I remember wondering if the whole thing had just been a summer fling.  I kind of thought it had to be since we lived over 1,000 miles apart from one another.  I didn’t want it to end, and I remember crying over the thought of potentially never seeing him again.  I’d been in long distance relationships in the past, so I knew that while they were extremely difficult, I could handle it.  Eric had not, though, and I worried that I wouldn’t seem so appealing once reality set in and he realized we’d only be able to see each other once every few months or so.

I left it up to him on our last night together.  I was going on to Lhasa, Tibet, but he was heading back to Beijing and then back to his home in Nebraska.  I honestly don’t know how I managed to feel brave enough to ask him what he wanted.  I mean, I was still young (only 22!) and not that sure of myself.  I knew I’d be crushed if he didn’t want to at least try to make things work between us, but I also knew it would be hard to go from spending every day and night together to seeing each other only once in a while.

I’ll never forget that night.  Our conversation pretty much went like this:

Me: So … What do you want to do?

Eric: I want to be with you.

Me: Are you saying you want to be with me but feel like you can’t because we live so far apart?  Or are you saying you want to try to make this work and actually be boyfriend and girlfriend?

Eric: I’m saying that I want to try to make this work and be boyfriend and girlfriend.

Those may not have been our exact words (this did happen almost 7 years ago!), but that was basically what was said.  I just remember feeling relieved and excited that we were starting something real.  Unfortunately, I also felt a tremendous sense of heartache because I knew that in a few short hours we’d be separated and I had no idea when we’d see each other again.  (Thankfully I did see him not too long after … He flew to West Virginia to visit me in July, just a few weeks after I returned from Tibet.)

At the time, I felt like it could be the start of something really special.  I had no idea that nearly 6 and a half years later we’d be getting married!

I know I’m leaving out a lot of details, but I shared a lot in this post.  I feel so lucky to have met someone who makes me so happy.  I hope that everyone has the opportunity to experience this kind of love during their lifetime.

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I’ve been trying to reserve wedding pictures for Wedding Wednesday posts, but I couldn’t resist sharing this one.  (I’m not sure why it’s so small, though.  The original file is much larger on my computer, and I’ve tried editing it several times.  Maybe I can figure out how to fix this issue when I post more wedding pictures.)  This was one of the best parts of the reception … We were dancing crazily to “Sexy Back” (a special request just for Eric!), and I remember laughing more than I had in a while.  All of the stress just melted away, and it was just the two of us acting like silly kids.  Personal photo taken by Kelsey at Memrical.

I Was Feeling Sad, Can’t Help Looking Back …

As I’ve been going through the 30 day blogging challenge, I’ve realized that maybe I should have chosen a different challenge.  I mean, a lot of these topics could potentially spark some really interesting posts … For someone.  Unfortunately, I don’t always have a really unique or personal story to share that’s relevant to some of these topics.

Today, for instance, I’m supposed to share my thoughts on drugs and alcohol.  Well, here they are: I drink socially, and while some weeks I may have at least one drink every day (or almost every day), other times I won’t drink alcohol for a month or longer.  Over time I’ve learned my limits, and I’ve always tried to be pretty responsible (like staying with a friend if I’ve had too much to drive home).  I’ve never been into drugs of any kind because, to be honest, I was too scared to try them.  I would never want to become dependent on something or potentially ruin my life just because I wanted to experience a drug one time.

See?  Not that interesting.  I don’t have any “life lessons” to share or anything.  Sorry.

So, with that being said, I’ve decided (yet again) to do something a little different.  I probably can’t say I’ve completed the 30 day blogging challenge if I don’t write about each and every thing on the list (though I guess I’ve at least touched on each one so far), but oh well.  I can at least use the list for inspiration if I’m at a loss for a subject to write about.

Today I’ve decided to be brave and share another of my poems.  I haven’t shared any of my personal creative writing since October, so it seemed like something I should do.  I’m always nervous about sharing my work on this blog because most of it is extremely personal.  (Though, if I’m being completely honest, I’m also nervous about sharing it because the “What if it’s not good enough?” thought runs through my mind each time.)  I haven’t written any poetry in quite a while, and the reason is because I always felt I could write better when I was depressed.  Cliché. yes … But I honestly think the work I’m most proud of came out of a very dark place.

This isn’t one of my absolute favorite pieces, but after reading over it again this evening, I realized it was at least something I felt comfortable sharing on a public blog.  I’ve mentioned before that I’ve written a lot of my poetry in song format (though I’ve never attempted to put it to music), and this is yet another song lyric style poem.

“That Old House”

Written on 06-02-2006

From somewhere in the darkness she hears her name

A hopeful voice begging her to change

Too frightened to love, she stubbornly remains

Locked inside with her private shame

Behind the walls of that old house were secrets she’d never tell

Acidic memories burning her heart away

She’d spent years fighting the armies of her private hell

Knowing those ghosts will never fade

From somewhere on the other side she hears the rain

A background symphony for her pain

Too frightened to live, she stubbornly remains

Locked inside her hell another day

Behind the walls of that old house were secrets she’d never tell

Acidic memories burning her heart away

She’d spent years fighting the armies of her private hell

Knowing those ghosts will never fade

Cracked and peeling, the paint reminds her of herself

Once beautiful and bright, she’s become something else

Alone in her home, she’s not safe from her regrets

Chained to all the things she could never forget

Behind the walls of that old house were secrets she’d never tell

Acidic memories burning her heart away

She’d spent years fighting the armies of her private hell

Knowing those ghosts will never fade