Monday, August 27, 2012

Hide It Under a Bushel

Over the last few months, Steven and I have lost our power twice.

Oh man, how NOT awesome is that?!? Worrying about the food in the fridge, relocating what you can to a friend's freezer or the fridge in the work breakroom. Throwing away a jar of salsa that could not be saved... one of the saddest things I've ever had to do. And then, of course, the small nuisances like flipping the light switch only to be instantly reminded that the power is out and, funnily enough, has been out for days, but your body continues to go through the motions.

Then there's the bathing in freezing cold water and the way getting dressed and applying makeup has become dependant on the use of a headlamp and the small sphere of light it casts in your bathroom mirror. Which, honestly, is pretty creepy.

Oh headlamp, I have known thee well.

I can't even enjoy thunderstorms anymore, a supreme bummer, because they've always been one of my favorite things. Now when the sky gets dark, I turn into Mrs. Banks from Mary Poppins, grabbing the vase on the piano and holding the picture frames like a cannon is about to go off.

I'm not joking.

Losing power has reminded me that I am not actually in control of anything except for how I respond to the circumastances of my life. And how I respond is to get really angry and begrudglingly play UNO with Steven in the dark, and criticize the way he lays his cards down, and to only smile when he takes a picture of me to post on instagram.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Late Bloomer

I found out yesterday that a local community theater is holding auditions for a summer musical. Since I spend half of my waking hours wishing I were a famous actress and the other half reading about famous actors, the thought of acting again dazzled me.

I found the theater group up online and scoured their archives for photos and videos of past productions. Initially, I thought that it would be a piece of cake to land a roll, and maybe a good roll, if I pulled myself together by Saturday morning. I compared myself to what I was seeing and figured a group that operates out of a school auditorium would be right up my alley.

But then I started watching videos of girls who were five years younger than me, adorable, confident and talented. And then I started reading everything I could find about the actors: articles in local papers, facebook about me sections, and interviews... these people have been acting together for years and years! They spend their summers building the sets and the show, and then hundreds of people turn out for their weekend performances.

I felt really intimidated after all of the digging and comparing. My voice is decent, but my range is limited and I haven't had a voice lesson since I sang Josh Groban for senior night at SHHS. I don't have character shoes or tights anymore. I weigh twenty pounds more and carry half the confidence that I used to...

And then I wondered if it were even possible for me to commit to rehearsals two nights a week and every Saturday. Between both of our schedules, we're already pretty busy. And would it matter that I'll be gone for a week in June?

In an evening, I explored the sides of myself that are extremely irrational and whiny and the part of me that can be practical. Folks, I even dreamed about auditioning, and it did NOT go well. Trying to decide if I want to try out for a musical has stirred up a lot of questions in me about what I want to do as a twenty-something. Are my hobbies the same? Am I dis-interested or am I just afraid? Do I even want to write or act or sing or dance, and if I actually wanted to do those things, wouldn't I be doing them?

Am I doing what I want to do, is it the same as what I used to want to do?

Blast it, I don't know.

I'd just like to be at peace with who I am, where I am. I thought I was old yesterday, looking at those high-schoolers, but I'm pretty much a big baby. A giant baby, using mini cannolis as pacifiers (um, delicious) and without a clue in the world.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Just like I never left...

The weight loss competition has ended and in its absence it has left a black hole (somewhere in the vicinity of my face), which has started to suck down an unbelievable amount of food. Obviously, this is all out of my control. If I knew more about black holes and what they are, maybe I could combat what's happening to me... Alas, thinking of space and blackness and forver-nothingness has always freaked me out, so I've never pursued more information.

Also, my Spanish desk calendar's phrase for the day is "Mi estomago hace ruidos raros." My stomach is making weird noises.

How did it KNOW!?

I don't even want to know what tomorrow's phrase is because, if it's following my life as closely as it seems to be, it's bound to be something like "Do you have these pants in a bigger size?"

I do NOT need to know how to say that.

The good news is, I dropped some pounds. I did some things in the three months of the competition that I've never done before. I ran three miles in one evening. I counted calories every day. On the days where I lost control and consumed more than I care to admit, I promised myself I would start over the next day and then I started over. More than anything, it was a great learning experience. It also kind of ruined my life because now that I know what I know about the amount of sugar and carbs and cals in my favorite foods, it doesn't feel so great to indulge anymore.

I'm not at the point where, if interviewed by Shape magazine, you would hear me say "Now, instead of ice cream, I prefer a fresh peach!" (seriously, a woman said that) but I do eat less cereal in the morning. I still want donuts and waffles etc. amen.

I think I'll keep going, because I didn't get to my goal weight. I also want new clothes and I can't justify the purchases unless my pants are falling off. My office isn't THAT business casual.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I deserve abs for this.

I'm always looking for ways to postpone working out. I just hate it that much. If results were instantaneous, things would be different. Alas, no, these things take time. So for the last several hours, instead of paying my dues, I've rearranged the rooms of our apartment and re-hung pictures. It looks good and all of you should visit us this instant. But now that everything is in its place, I would just like to lay down in the pajamas I've been wearing since last night. Give me a little popcorn, a little Breaking Bad, and I'll be fine.

If only.

One of the worst parts about moving away from my girlfriends is that I am so far from everyone/anyone who appreciated my attitude towards working out. There was a time in my life when an ever-softer body was, if not a group goal, an amusing issue. With my work friends and roommates, I would laugh and laugh, pleased as PUNCH to eat a pile of oreos instead of baby carrots; to wear the same pair of pants day after day because they fit; to have endless conversations about what we were eating and what we wanted to eat.

Me, caressing a shake, at my bachelorette party. 

Steven doesn't think it's as funny as my girlfriends when I would rather inhale pasta than expel calories. I know, I don't get it either. But yesterday, I promised him that I would work out every day from now until February 15th, and work out I must.

Now if you'll excuuuuse me...

Happy Saturday!

A song to send you on your weekend!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Willy Wonka knows what's up

Great news, everyone! Steven's bike was stolen.

Wait, scratch that, reverse it.

Steven's bike was stolen! Great news, everyone... we got it back.

A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from Steven saying that his bike was gone and he needed me to pick him up. At some point in the several hours that his bike was locked up at the metro station while he was at his evening class, some wacka-doo broke the lock and rolled his bike away.

Steven kept his cool and started filing a claim with metro security while I drove down the road in my pajamas, fuming, imagining that I would come across the thief on the way and run him off the road.

The claim was filed, security said they'd look for it, and Steven and I were pretty sure we would never see the bike again. Let's be honest.

Chicken BUT!, exactly one week later, we get a phone call saying that the bike was found at a pawn shop, just down the road from us. After a little negotiating between the coppers and the pawners and a lot of patience from Steven, the bike was taken to the station, where we were able to pick it up last night. No scratches or changes, even the KSU sticker required to park bikes on campus was still there.

As I was waiting in the car for Steven to get his bike, I looked in the rear view mirror and saw him rolling it down the sidewalk, the happiest, goofiest grin on his face, skipping! To all of you who prayed for the search, for all of the well-wishers and sympathisers, THANK YOU. The bike is home, double locked to our patio and the image of Steven skipping will forever be firmly planted in my memory.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Think about what you've done!

I miss something every day. Yesterday, I missed walking to class at KSU, the most beautiful campus in the world. The day before that, I missed getting sent to my room by my parents when I was naughty and lippy. Now I have to send myself, and that's way less effective. Who's going to save me from myself?

There are some things that I miss that I will never get back and some things that aren't gone, but aren't the same as they used to be (ahem, my thighs). But what I really want you to know is that some things I think I miss, I don't actually miss*. Just like you never know a good thing until it's gone, sometimes you don't know a bad thing until it's gone. Sometimes, we miss the idea of what we thought we had, which could be a person or a shirt or a job or a pet*, but really we're better of because of the loss.

Good riddance and thankyouverymuch.

The other night, I sent myself to my room because, bless my heart, I was just too tired to be nice and mature. I climbed into bed, covered myself up, and asked myself what was going on... I'm going to end this scene where I talk to myself now, but basically what I told myself is that I struggle with spreading myself too thinly, trying to do too much, and explaining myself all of the time*.

I've also been reassessing what I do and have found that a lot of what I spend my time on doesn't have any meaning or doesn't mean anything to me. I'm working on changing that, letting go of some things that are already gone and nurturing the things that are really important.

*I have not ever missed my parakeets.
*Honest! I only struggle with three things.
*If You're wondering how many times I used miss/missed in this post, it's seven. You're welcome.
*I'm so vague, you probably think this post is about you. It's not.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It was beautiful.

In the middle of his twenty-seven months with the Peace Corps, Steven came home for a few weeks. It was a summer visit, July, the first time we'd seen each other in over a year. With all the holidays we'd missed together behind us and all the holidays to come before us, we decided to take a day to celebrate Christmas.

I think I've talked about this before.

I made waffles in my parents' kitchen, standing barefoot in the Jasmine pants I bought at a market in Spain. My friends thought they looked ridiculous, but I liked the feel of scarves on my bare legs, my only complaint was the elastic at the ankles, which cut in to my skin.

I set the table with speckled blue and white plates and blended Orange Julius. I played Bing Crosby's Christmas album and warmed the syrup which, it turns out, Steven doesn't really like.

He walked into the house without knocking, and hugged me withe one arm, the other arm behind his back. He surprised me with a soft green hydrangea, the first flower he'd ever handed me himself.

I cut the stem and put the flower in water, in a cup on the table. We ate breakfast, me with my waffle dripping in melted butter and syrup and him with butter only.

He went back to West Africa a few days later, got sick with mono and spent a couple weeks in bed.

That hydrangea, hardier than any I've ever seen, lasted almost a month, long enough for Steven to get better and return to his village.

Maybe it borrowed his health, pulling it from his hand as he carried it to me on our Christmas morning.
Maybe it was just mimicking our patience, lasting longer than anybody thought it could.

Get it any way you can.

I would have liked to take a nap in a hammock today, the slight sway, the weight of a blanket tucked around my shoulders, the cool air cradling the sag of my back... I settled for my car, instead, parked at the back of the lot. With an hour for lunch, it was enough time to fall asleep in a patch of sun.

I woke up sweaty and sore, which made stepping out into the cool air all the more refreshing. The short walk from the car to the building was perfect. It was hard to come back inside, sad to sit for hours at a desk, staring at a screen, facing away from the window.

The square of sunlight on the floor does not even reach the wheels of my chair.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I'm not making any promises

I'm embarrassed by how long it's taken me to post.

Don't look at me, I'm blushing.

I've just had a damn hard time organizing thoughts, choosing a focus, and living up to the sentiment of New Year posts. I felt like I should be writing reflections and resolutions, and I couldn't. What makes the first of one month different from the first of another, really? So, instead of writing, I've been eating package after package of Holiday Oreos (just .89 cents at Target), and reading the poems of Billy Collins.

Today marks the first day of a weight-loss challenge I'm participating in. Yesterday, I watched the Golden Globes. The day before that, my husband took me on a really nice date. Last week, I was at work, feeling half as grown up as I looked, looking half as grown up as everyone else. Almost a month ago, I was leaving on a plane for Kansas, thinking of how nice it would be to be with family, and that three hour flights can feel very, very long. Steven and I have been together for four years. My brothers are growing up. My grandma should write a memoir. I should write a blog.

So on and so forth, these thoughts have skipped like rocks on the water. One hop, two hop, until they sink heavily to the bottom. Nothing rocks, blurry thoughts.

I think that Spring would be the best time to make life improvements. Not the dead of winter, when everything is frozen, most especially my motivation. Good luck to all of you who have ambitiously made lists of resolutions, and good health to those of you who are sick. I'll write again, when I'm sure I have something to say.