Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Happiness Project

Gretchen Rubin's book, The Happiness Project has been one of the most influential books I have read so far in my lifetime. After first reading the book I was quickly inspired to start my own happiness project, which unlike many of the ridiculous projects I try to begin with myself was extremely easy to follow. I first devised as Gretchen suggests my twelve commandments that I live by on a daily basis. I find that after I devised this list, they often influence my decision making in a very strong way. I know that these are the twelve principles I want to live by, and that allows me to develop into a better version of myself.

My Twelve Commandments:

1. Be me.
2. Let it go.
3. Act the way I want to feel.
4. Do it now.
5. Keep calm and carry on.
6. Do not be scared.
7. No over analyzing.
8. Life goes on.
9. Give freely, don't expect.
10. This too shall pass.
11. Be a person you'd be friends with.
12. Get out of your head.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Some of My Favorite Books

I'm an avid reader, and while people in my life recognize that, they don't realize that I read about three books a week on average. Which if you calculate that out considering I've been reading since I was five, is prodigious amount of books. I know when a book is poorly written, and I know when they leave me with the feeling that I need to share a passage with every person I've ever met and that my life will never be quite the same. Books get through to me more than anything else ever will.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Amy and Rodger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen
The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene
Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
The Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Candid caption of my favorite way to spend time

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I have unresolved feelings for multiple people.
It tears me apart inside that I can't be friends with certain people anymore because there is nothing left.
It makes me upset when my friends blatantly make fun of other people.
I'm ashamed of myself for lying so many times in the past.
When I'm happy there is only one person I really want to know about it, and they don't care.
I take advice and criticism much better from strangers than I do with people in my life.
There are things I still haven't told anyone about what happened.
I miss my best friend from elementary school because her house is the safest place I know.
I crave food from different states and it drives me crazy.
One time I drove my car to a random neighborhood and cried for an hour.
Sometimes when I hang out with people I feel like I'm only doing it so I don't have to be alone.
I feel under appreciated.
I think I've been moodier than I've ever been in my whole life in the last six months.
Sometimes I climb out of my window in the middle of the night and walk around.
I drive by one house on purpose.
Sometimes when I wake up I look at myself and feel so pretty I wish someone was there to see it and tell me that too.
I never cheated on a test up unti my freshman year of high school.
I have terrifying nightmares about the end of the world.
I binge eat and sometimes.
I make it my mission to ruin all surprises because I've had too many bad ones of those in my life.
I still wait because I still have hope.

Friday, January 25, 2013

I Digress because I'm Sad

I think it is an interesting fact of life that it makes all of us feel so much better when someone we aren't close to tells us something compared to your best friend or your family. I guess we all believe that the people closest to us have to love us regardless of the instances where we screw up or fail, whereas a random person does not owe us anything. When a guy I don't know tells me I'm pretty it suddenly has so much more credibility, because he has no motive or anything to gain behind telling me the truth. When people we are just getting close to tell us to remember that we are amazing it just feels so much warmer. They don't have to say those things, they do it because they want to and they believe it to be true.

I know I'm in a stuck place when I can't sleep at night, because my brain pounds and not in a migraine way, just a fuzzy way. Like there is no definitions or lines drawn and there is no certainty involved. I wish I knew how to make rejection hurt less. I wish I knew how to stop feeling emotions when emotions aren't worth their weight. The truth is there are things I think that no one knows. Maybe because I know when I say them out loud it will sound silly, or fall upon deaf ears, or just enter into the vortex of things I've said that lost their meaning. That doesn't make them any less true thought does it... Sometimes I wish I could be honest free of the editing I do to spare people. I came to a conclusion the other day about why the summer I spent at Stanford was the best time of my life so far. I realized that it was because those people didn't know me, they didn't know that I was actually over emotional, or a snoopy person, I can't eat sushi with chopsticks, that I run my mouth unchecked, or that I wasn't in the top ten of my class. All they saw was a shell of me, and they really valued me for that version of myself. I felt free from the expectations that I find pressed upon me at school. There was no one that I had to stand next to and feel small beside, no one that thought I talk with double meaning or sassy undertones, and no one to say I was insignificant. Maybe I was insignificant, maybe I always have been. That month was the first time however that people thought I was the best at something. I was the one who brought my best guy friend along and could perfectly curl hair. It wasn't that I thought I was the best person ever, but I just never get to feel like that at home. When I'm here I always feel stuck in the middle, somewhere between invisible and like last season's Tory burch flats. When I look around I gaze out onto a scene of people interacting, and it isn't that I don't feel I belong, it's that I don't want to. I've never felt like anyone's minion, nor anyone's leader. I just wake up in the morning with a very defined sense of who I am and where I want to be. I know the clothes I like and which ones I don't, and I put a lot of emphasis on outward appearances remaining in a poised and composed fashion. What makes me laugh (even though it isn't laugh out loud funny) is that when I get upset, I always tell myself I'm tired of putting on the brave face and waking up the next morning and putting on the eyeliner just like everything is peachy keen. Every time though, even when I tell myself I'm really going to let everything go, I always still pull it together and fix myself some tea and put on my lipgloss. I can't find it in myself to quit. In the midst of winter I found within me an invincible summer.

While I'm on the topic of feeling small, another thing that has always bothered me is that people never remember who I am. I ask myself, do I not have a memorable face? Is it that I'm boring when I talk? Or is it about something I can't see in myself when I look at the reflection in the mirror. It makes me feel even smaller than my actual frame when my life is a constant line of being called a nickname that doesn't fit me or just not remembering my name at all. It's dumb.. I know. I've just always been curious why I didn't stick out. I know I'm just a white girl with no striking features, but I just thought my footprints left a mark where I walked instead of blowing dust to the wind.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Rant on Tardy Behavior

Yesterday I got called out for arriving to pick someone up on time. On time. I said I would be there around 6:30, and I hadn’t been to the person’s house in a long while, so naturally because I was ready beforehand and wasn’t doing anything, I left a little bit early to ensure I wouldn’t get there super late. I know some people aren’t like that, and getting places late is of no consequence to them, but for me, it has always been one thing that greatly irked me. So said person made me wait in my car, feeling shameful for close to ten minutes while they did whatever it was they needed to in preparation for my arrival. It just set the night off on a bad note, and while we quickly laughed about it and moved on, it still offended me that I was called out for being on time. When did it become the standard to arrive everywhere at least fifteen minutes behind schedule? I know that in my life I accept this of other people, but I do not customarily do it myself. I don’t like the way it feels to be late places, and as a general principle, anyone who gets somewhere early leads a calmer and more collected life. There is no drama or fear, and no stress involved with hoping you won’t awkwardly walk into an event so late it isn’t even funny, or anything like that.

One other example that comes to mind is this time before I could drive when I asked my friend’s mom if she could take us to this meeting. Well I would cut them some slack for the dilemmas of the day, but they are late everywhere, so I don’t really think that this one time was any different than always. So the people took forever for us to leave, and I knew the place of the meeting was at least thirty minutes away, so when we left to get to the place we were going with fifteen, I knew it wasn’t going to be good. We ended up arriving at the meeting one hour late. I was so embarrassed that I didn’t even want to go in at that point, and I convinced my friend that we shouldn’t. I had never in my life missed more than half of a meeting before. It wasn’t so much that we didn’t go, but the fact I had put on nice clothes, and done my hair, and blocked out half of my day to go to this meeting, and then thanks to something not related to me, I was incredibly late. It’s just one of those instances in life that is so frustrating. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What I Thought in the Past..

It always seems like we never remember anything more than what is right in front of us. Is it really human nature to forget, for the very essence of who we are to dissolve and dissapate from our thoughts with nothing more than the alleving powers of time? Days pass whether we count them or not, and even on the mornings where it seems questionable whether your world will continue to roll on, the sun has never failed to rise over the mountains in the east and fade again that evening over the palm trees in the west. Each day itself holds the potentail to be more than one more Monday in the earthly span of worst days of the week.
Some mornings I lie tangled in silky sheets, worry blanketing over my eyes, clawing in the dark to figure out why I should rise from my cozy cocoon of safety. Then I see it. I see it all. I see a maroon gown that swallows me up, and loosely curled hair, and antsy smiles with glossed lips nervously fidgeting with my painted fingers while waiting to hear my name. I see that moment when I rip off the matching maroon cap ladeled with honor tassles, and toss it into the May moonbeam lit night air in the unified symbol of the end, that all of the nothing was never really nothing at all. I see that day in December when I walk to the mailbox, shivering in a sweater and clutching the mail key anxiously in one hand. The moment when I twist the door to the mailbox and I see a innocuous yellow envelope, and how I will sink to the ground with triumphant tears of joy for the toil of four years of sadness. I see a future with autumn leaves, and vivid reds and yellows that remind us that losing everything can be the most beautiful part of all. I see a young lady who still goes by Miss but won't for long, squeezing hands tightly with a young man who's love dismisses all her fears.

 We hold on so tightly to whatever it is that makes us feel safe that we lose the value of the unforeseeable. High school will be over soon. No more will the same ecletic group of individuals parade the halls, no longer will the best friends laugh in the corner or the enemies bicker behind gray desks of academia. There will be no more early release pazooki eating or laughable group projects, no more Homecomings with ill fitting bodices and painful heels. There won't even be going home to a house filled with comforting yellow light and a hot plate of food served next to the side of parental love and guidance. That all will come to an end soon enough, and that's something we all have to accept. Look around and notice that the people you see do not match their image in your memory. We all change, in all the right and wrong ways. Maybe the haircuts and T-shirt choices have improved, and the teeth are all less crooked but the minds will never be the same shade of pure innocent white, unscarred by the bitterness and acidity of youth. The big issues always seemed less important than the small ones, then one day it flips beneath you and getting invited to parties and being accepted and owning the right brand of shoes gets replaced with decisions that impact the rest of your life. Maybe it makes us mad that metamorphasis transpired all around us and we never noticed until it was too late. Maybe the people and way you get used to isn't always going to be that way, but all the best parts of life are fleeting. The truth is we have to forgive each other for growing up. It's just like the leaves of fall, let them drop down around us, each leaf like a memory, whether it be success or failure. The best moment is right before we lose it all.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Breakup Babble

Nothing goes as planned, and people say goodbye in their own special way. Breaking up is hard to do, and not because we know the consequences of what awaits us on the other side of loneliness are unwanted and unpleasant. A break up symbolizes a change in the weather, a paradigm shift, an ever noticeable transformation that we all try so hard to run away from. What can really be done about it though, when on a Saturday night you sit at your house alone and think about the possibility of the end and what would become of you? Even the strongest of us have to admit defeat sometimes, that in many instances fighting is weaker than giving in and admitting there is no solution. It can be more noble to acknowledge that there is not going to be a solution to the problem. It isn't that other people will respect you more, but you might find that you yourself will have more respect for yourself as you walk away from the break up. The end is haunting and chilling and leaves all of us with the distinctive impression that life is a dark hole and that we will never see a sunny sky again. Experience will always be the only way to know that this isn't entirely true. One thing I learned this month that I think everyone should know is that not getting what you want makes you just as happy as getting what you want does.  Maybe it's a philosophical issue to be debated whether there is truth to this statement or if it is one giant falsity, but scientific proof is undeniable. As humans, when we do not get the desired result, we learn to teach ourselves to value our other options. It might seem contrite or forced, but it really does work. A breakup might truly break your heart, but some good will come of it. You will find friends you lost, other people who you forget, you will forge new relationships that are built on stronger foundations, and you grow into a new mold of yourself. When you have nothing left, you grow as a person into a much more powerful entity. None of us like to admit defeat, but there comes a time when it's time to get out and find yourself alone. How will you know if you can stand alone if you never try?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Song Lyrics from the past

In my mind, the sun shines all the time. Oh I'm just a summer girl, I wear my flip flops, when I wear my hair down, thats when the party starts, and who needs a boyfriend I've got my girlfriends and when we get together the summer never ends. - Leighton Meester "Summer Girl"
Last night, I fell in love without you. I waved goodbye to that heart of mine, leaving solo on your lawn. Every aching wound, will caught a rising bruise, in memory of what we used to call in love. Motion City Soundtrack "Fell in Love Without You."

Let's fly where we used to run, let's fly where we've never gone, let's dream what we've never done, let's make a road where there isn't one, lets fly, let's go where we used to run. When I'm with you I feel so weightless. Landon Austin -"Where We Used to Run"

Tell me the wars you're fighting, behind the smiles you're hiding, all of the things I know you want to say. We tried our best to find us, but there were no lights to guide us, I can't sleep beside a stranger now. And piece by piece we fall apart, with every beat slows down my heart, so I'll just say what you want say. And I'll take the blame if it's for your sake, we are so far gone, we are so far gone. And this is the face of letting go, all these are things we already know. No turning back on what you can't say. James Blunt -"So Far Gone"

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Irrelevant Truths

1. I really like Jesus music.
2. I'm not a big hand washer.
3. I get headaches multiple times a week.
4. I never forget. Ever.
5. I eavesdrop on everyone.
6. I can hear people talking when I'm asleep.
7. I only dream about being romantically involved with one guy.
8. I pick out my eyelashes.
9. I hate being alone so much.
10. I watched 345 Youtube videos last month.
11. I really enjoy dark books.
12. I love mystery.
13. I'm scared of the dark.
14. I like to text.
15. Sometimes I get acid reflux when I eat certain foods.
16. I've never thought I look pretty in a picture.
17. I talk to myself in the mirror sometimes.
18. I do not sleep with pants on.
19. I like lipstick prints.
20. I am a fruit snob.
21. I've secretly always wanted to look like Lauren Conrad.
22. I get jealous easily.
23. I still get upset about events that happened years ago.
24. I'm scared to go to college.
25. I do not like when people shorten my name.
26. I tend to be naive in my perception.
27. I see the best and worst in people at the same time.
28. I really appreciate people with clean mouths.
29. I do not like being left out of anything, even if there is no reason I would be invited.
30. I relate my life to Gossip Girl.
31. I've always wanted to go to Italy.
32. I miss people I shouldn't miss.
33. I fantasize about scenarios that aren't realistic.
34. That which I regret I pretend did not happen.
35. I do my homework at the dining room table.
36. I've been to 22 states in the United States.
37. I have never been to Hawaii. Or the Dakotas.
38. I have expensive tastes.
39. I've always been a pink girl at heart.
40. I'm a romantic.
41. I love the summer.
42. I'm a summer baby.
43. I love history.
44. I have an intense sweet tooth.
45. I'm not ashamed to not be wearing makeup.
46. I like the smell of a burning paper.
47. Armani Code triggers so many memories in my mind.
48. I go through music phases.
49. I cry until I fall asleep.
50. I use my laptop enough each day to drain the battery.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I'm tired of waking up in tears, cuz I can't put to bed these phobias and fears. I'm new to this grief I can't explain, but I'm no stranger to the heartache and the pain. The fire I began is burning me alive. But  I know better than to leave and let it die. I'm a silhouette, asking every now and then, is it over yet? Will I ever feel again? I'm sick of the past I can't erase. A jumbled of footprints and hasty steps I can't retrace. The mountain of things I still regret, is a vile reminder that I would rather just forget. The fire I began is burning me alive, but I know better than to leave and let it die. I walk alone, no matter where I go. I'm a silhouette, asking every now and then, is it over yet? Will I ever love again? I'm a silhouette, chasing rainbow on my own, the more I try to move on, the more I feel alone, so I watch the winter stars to lead me home.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

If Only I Had Known....

The Wink of Opaque Delusion
What would I have done the day I took this picture if I had known that the events of this day would follow me? I look so confident, so composed, so laid back in this picture, because I did not know that I was in the span of five hours going to make a huge fool of myself. Words to live by people: Think before you speak. Delusional ideology can really cause some embarrassing situations if we aren't careful in our lives. Some of the most meaningful song lyrics I have ever heard perfectly explain this. This song is Long Gone And Moved on by The Script.

When's the day you start again, and when the hell does you get over it begin? I'm looking hard in the mirror, but I don't fit my skin. It's too much to take, to hard to break my from the cell I'm in. It's time to get real, cuz I still don't know how to act, don't know what to say, still wear the scars like it was yesterday. But you're long gone, and moved on, I still wear the scars like it was yesteday, still talk about it like it was yesterday.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

When's the Day You Start Again?

I always aspired to be one of those mystery girls. The ones you see in the school hallways and as they pass by you that little annoying internal voice of yourself goes, Damn, there struts a girl who doesn’t cry into her bowl of Fruit Loops in the morning.  I am a hot mess by nature, as I have no patience and a tendency to lose it at the slightest disarray.  I have long draping hair that will absolutely never blow out the direction I want it to go, and these two little sticks of side bangs that cling flat to my forehead when I don’t fix my hair properly. To top it all off, my skin is composed of over active sweat glands, my face gets lobster colored when I get flustered, and whenever I try to speak up in class I get this hoarse man voice that often cracks like a prepubescent teenage boy. In summation, I live my life in a perpetual state of calamity.
            I used to really love myself too much. Narcissism was my downfall; I was prideful to the point of looking in the trophy cabinet at school and casually shaking out my curls and knowing that I thought I was perfect. I see pictures of myself from that time, and I was so fearless. No abash for the opinions of others, no concern over what I was or was not doing with my weekends. I felt pretty and because of that I was. I dared other people to doubt who I was and stared them down when they did. I enjoyed the control I realized I could empower over those around me, and I began to realize the potential that simmered through my bones. I knew I was flawed, but I didn’t notice and I just pretended no one else did either.
            Then slowly there was a gradual but noticeable shift, as I began to age and started to truly open my eyes to those around me. With enough time there will be fall out, and there certainly was for me. All of my so-called glorious perfection began to dissolve around me, dissipating into the air and taking with it all of my spunky confidence and joy. It was a sluggish leak, but once the knob was twisted I would never feel the same way about myself again. There was once a light in my eyes, a glossy shine exuded into the atmosphere, but with each tear down and disappointment, the light dimmed.
            I grew up in Louisiana, and spent my summers frolicking up and down the white coasts of the Florida beaches. I had never seen a mountain until I was around the age of seven. I asked my dad as we drove up to Tennessee what a mountain looked like, as I mistook the rolling hills of Georgia for true summits. My dad had laughed and smiled at me. These aren’t the real mountains. The further we drove the more substantial the peaks became, until I truly understood what he meant.  His words launched back into my life as the infinitesimal dilemmas of my teenage life began to evolve. Each new hurdle was a little bit steeper, the rocks fell upon me a little bit more painfully, and the slow leak morphed into a consistent seeping. At first it was just school related, learning to manage high school classes and accept my educational imperfections. Then it was about my friends and feeling lonely, and I’d lose my footing as I climbed the slope, having to regroup on a new ledge. Then I learned what it truly means to lose, and I began to accept a torrential downpour of boulders upon my head. I even learned to open the umbrella to this and shield myself from the bitter stabs. At some point I finally will reach the pinnacle, but I ask myself at what cost? I will reach the top as everyone eventually does, but what will I have lost and suffered along the way? 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Quote Shout outs

The Best Advice I've Ever Given

As you grow up, you learn a lot about the in's and out's of societal normality's and what is expected of yourself as a person in each stage of adolescence. I know that it can be tricky, because most of the time I lie in bed at night reminiscing on the path I chose to walk down and how utterly wrong I was. I can't even tell you how many situations I've handled so poorly and the person I am today would treat so differently. As I learned all of this the hard way I began to compose a list of some of the basic advice that seems super self explanatory, but I had to learn from causing prodigious messes. 

1. People in relationships are off limits forever. You just stay away from them because given enough time every relationship is doomed to fall apart. 

2. The worst is always yet to come, but it always eventually arrives, and at that point you regroup and pull your life together once again. 

3. The possibility of "what if" is strong enough to motivate even the most apathetic of us to accomplish tasks we never believed possible. 

4. The secret to being boring is to tell everyone everything you know. 

5. We compare the lowest moments of our lives to the highlights of everyone else's lives. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Now is the Start

The path through the pain is forward, to a future filled with corcuscating sunsets

As much as we all like to think we control our own destinies and actions, I feel like a part of us all knows we have limited control over everything. When you do the same things for four years with slight variation as you grow and mature, it becomes hard to imagine the life we don’t know that awaits us behind the veil of misty smoke and clouds. Maybe the truth is it was never so much about the rejection letters from schools as it was that we aren't prepared to go off to college. I think we’ve always known that fact and we just do our very best to deny it. Everyone wants to go to college right? Maybe I don’t. Maybe I don’t belong in a state five hours by plane away from the warmth of family and the soothing knowledge that my mother who loves me so so much will always be there to love me a little more. That Friday when I didn’t get in to what we shall refer to as *dream school*, when I held that rejection letter in my cold shaking hands and when I sobbed so hard that all the mascara just streamed down my face in a very Taylor Momson when Chuck takes her virginity way, my mom held me and it made it okay. I still cry when I think about that day, because it honestly sucked. Maybe when there is more certainty in the solution of the matterr it will stop making me cry. Or maybe it never will. 

It will always serve as a defining day in my life in which that which I had dreamed for myself came crashing down upon my shoulders. In a way, I feel like it was the nudging hand of God shaking his head at me and pointing out that all of the objects of my desires are painfully misguided. I feel like I know what I want, but at the same time sometimes I find myself realizing I’m not who I always imagined myself to be. Today in the the lululemon dressing room, there was one of those three way mirrors that allows you to see yourself from all different views, and I looked at the girl and judged her and then took a long moment to realize that girl was me. Then I just stared at her side profile and tried to imagine other people loving that shell of a body as my soul. All I really feel in touch with is my own mind, and the wavering thoughts that flicker through my brain, and I don’t really know that body. It is mine but at the same time it just allows me to function. I’ve been wrong so much this past year that I honestly believe I’m in a sort of redefinition of all the boundaries and lines I’ve drawn. 

 On a slightly different note, I've begun to consider why it is we always return to the subjects and people who cause us the most suffering. Why is there love lost between some people even when those very people are the reason for pain in our lives? Can we not let go because there is unfinished business, or is it that when you love unconditionally you don’t give up even when the object of your affections is begging you to. There is a legitimate point when someone I know pondered to me why we always return to the people who hurt us most. I thought it over and think it makes logical sense. We return to that which makes us feel alive. Maybe life with those things that hurt us is more painful, or dangerous, but no one would keep going back if they didn’t like the way that thing made them feel. 

The Girl behind the Bow (and what coruscation means)

Coruscation: a verb meaning the brillant reflection of life, or the sparkle and shine of a light. The minute I discovered the word I knew it would become one of the those words that never really left me. What it truly means I have yet to really figure out, all I know is that I like the hope it inspires within me when it runs through my head. I hope that the life becomes a brillant reflection of light for me, and I hope that I can find myself through this shimmering light.