It’s 3.13.13 and I’ll let you in on a creepy little secret: The number combination 3-13 follows me around, everywhere. It’s more commonly found when I look at the time or when I glance at building numbers, but regardless of what form these numbers take, I see them on a regular basis. I used to get uneasy when checking the time at 3:13, but lately these numbers haven’t scared me the way they used to. In fact, they now serve to calm me. They provide a sense of consistency, I can count on them always being there. I don’t know why I’ve chosen to let you in on something no one else knows, but I’ve been away so long, I do believe you’re entitled to a piece of me. Don’t you?
I’ve taken a look at the list of things I wish to accomplish in 2013, and I am now able to proudly scratch one of those things off. The first of these things to be checked off of my “This Year I Will” list is travel. I have an extra special sense of accomplishment with this one because it was the one thing I was most unsure of going through with. I often talk of wanting to travel, but I rarely get the opportunity.
When I learned of my theatre department attending the USITT conference this year, I couldn’t say no. We drove up to Huntsville, which is about an hour north of Houston. I’m like a dog, I love car rides. Words couldn’t explain how happy those six hours of unencumbered, beautiful Texas country made me.
It seems fitting that I should be writing a year-in-review post on the first day of the new year. After all, everyone else around the blogosphere is doing it. At first glance, it doesn’t seem I accomplished much in the past year, but really looking back, I grew, learned, and succeeded much more than I primarily thought.
- The first thing I realized about 2012 was that I lost three dress sizes. I have been working out for quite some time now, and last year was the first time I took a good look in the mirror and was pleased with my progress.
- I declared a second major. I know this is no big deal, and I didn’t think it was until I was filling out the required paperwork. The adviser helping me read aloud the section that read Degrees:
“Yes, write none. When you graduate, you’ll have two.”
- I got really involved in the theatre department and helped stage manage this term’s main stage production. It was kind of a big deal for me.
- I pulled my first legitimate all-nighter and was delirious by the time I fell asleep the next day.
- I got a raise.
- I designed my entire bedroom from scratch, beginning with the layout and custom floating-desk, custom closet, and shelving units. It was my HGTV dream-come-true.
- I got an iPhone. I don’t know where I’d be without it… probably out having life, actually.
- I got a credit card… three of them.
- I got myself into debt. (See above.)
- I earned [mostly] As.
I didn’t travel like I said I would in my New Beginnings post, I didn’t get another tattoo, as I had also promised and I realized substantially late in the year that I hadn’t been the happiest person, and I’m currently working on these things. I can’t wait to begin on my 2013 list of things to do, so stick around because you’ll all be the first to know when something great happens. I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season, and a spectacular new year!
This was, and hopefully still is, the place that I can come to write. The place where I reminisce, and maybe even tell a few people things I never get to say out loud. I really don’t know if I’ll get to publishing this, or if this post will even go anywhere. All I know is that I used to love to write. I loved to write about anything and everything that ran through my mind. People loved that. I got so caught up in it, people loving what I created, I started trying. I guess that was my mistake. I tried to make them love me more. I lost myself somewhere in the unencumbered numbered words, and I eventually couldn’t find my way back. So here I am, after another hiatus, writing again, and after a long time, writing for myself.
I guess I should start from the beginning, which happens to be this morning. I wake up, not loathing my alarm clock as much as I usually do- I should have known this was some kind of foreshadowing. I get out of bed and set foot on the cold, tile floor. This is the jolt that wakes me up every morning. I don’t make my bed- another oddity, but whatever, I thought. I get ready, I had my outfit picked out for today. I put on eyeliner. I wasn’t going to, but, again, whatever. I leave my apartment.
It’s cold. I love the cold. I find cold weather warm and welcoming, I like the feeling of having something wrapped around you. I know a lot of people feel sad and blue when the weather turns, but it makes me happy. If I ever take over the world, it’s going to be a cold day. It might even snow. Anyway, I make my way to the library to study for today’s final, which, by the way, is an hour away. I get to the table where my friends are frantically looking through notes, and I do nothing. I’m happy and serene and yet I’m so utterly numb to the fact that I won’t pass this exam. I know nothing, nor do I want to know anything. I am the writer in the group. They do the math, build the graphs, all I do is code data and write. There are two girls sitting at the table that I don’t recognize. There’s something about them I don’t like, and I am even a little hostile toward them. They’re glaring at me, although I’ve done nothing but pull up a chair. I make a joke about our grades and they don’t understand it. Everyone else laughs. They correct me, and I don’t like it. They don’t understand my dry humor and I make a condescending retort. I look them right in the eyes when I say it, too. Looking back, I shouldn’t have been so cold. They’re probably nice people, they just didn’t understand a joke and caught me on a day I knew would end in failure. I’d given up. I was numb to that too.
The test is beginning and for a minute I’m naive enough to believe that I have a shot at passing. I get the sheet of paper and stare at it. Nothing is making sense. There are words on the sheet, but they aren’t coming together to form coherent sentences. I don’t understand these words. I don’t understand their meaning or their correlation to one another. I’m angry. I don’t know what to do. I follow the first direction carefully. I write my name and label the spreadsheet as though my life depends on it. It felt like it did. Words were floating around the page as my lip begins to quiver. I consider leaving without saying a word, maybe I can have some big epiphany about my destiny as I walk out of the computer lab. I can relive some old scene I once saw in a movie. But I don’t go anywhere, I just sit, feeling more humiliated than if I would have had the bravado to walk out. My eyes begin to water. I have the textbook open in front of me, but it isn’t helping. The professor notices something is wrong and observes me picking a color scheme for the half-hearted table I made. I like pink, but the closest they have is red. He walks away and makes an announcement that was directed toward me. I pick blue.
I heed his announcement. Tiny cogs begin moving in my mind. Small sparks are felt- a drop of water in the bucket. I make two charts- they’re easy on the eyes. My professor walks over and compliments them, he even gives me a thumbs up. I don’t know what to do again. I read the rest of the directions on our handout and realize I know the math. I look up at my screen and remember I can’t translate what I know into the computer. We’re disconnected, and although I may feel constantly connected to a computer or phone, the machine can’t read my mind. It doesn’t know that I know what to do. I’m angry again, this time because I know that I’m going to fail at something I knew all along. I hate technology. I hate myself. I’m blaming myself for everything. I begin calling myself stupid with every word I know. I want to write, that’s what I want. I want to open a word document and type ten thousand words on exactly how to make these graphs, how to null the hypotheses that I’ll form within the ten thousand words, I want to write more than anything in the world. I pick up my pen and hold it to the sheet of paper. When I look down I realize there are no lines for which to write on. My vision is blurred. I give up.
I begin crying as soon as I get to the theatre, feeling so powerless to a sheet of paper is belittling. I realize I am laughing as tears are running down my cheeks, staining them black. My friends hug me, but I don’t feel anything. I know these events, this mindset is ludicrous. I can’t stop laughing and I can’t stop crying. It’s funny. I’m crying because I failed a test that counts for 5% of my grade. My friends are laughing too as I come down this self-righteous, melodramatic high. Get over yourself. I begin repeating.
Had you asked my honest opinion on gift-giving as a teenager, you’d find a selfish, spoiled-rotten brat. I won’t sugar coat any of that, I know exactly what I was like. I remember my explicit thoughts, even as a child, as our classroom would have gift-exchanges around Christmastime. I would get upset at my mom for taking me shopping for some other kid. I mean, she was my mom. Who did she think she was, buying a toy for someone who wasn’t me?! As embarrassing as it is to admit, it wasn’t uncommon to have my mother buy two of the same toy, merely because I couldn’t stand the thought of someone having something I didn’t.
My mindset changed slightly as a teenager, being able to tell the difference between a good gift and a bad gift. I didn’t mind giving a gift as long it was something generic that required little to no effort to obtain. (Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, and gift cards were my go-to gift.) I loved receiving things, but absolutely despised having to go out of my way to buy someone else something. I didn’t care how good of a friend you were to me, if there was money in my hand, it aggravated me knowing I was obligated to buy someone else a gift. It wasn’t until I hit my late teens/super-early twenties that things started shifting.
It was the holiday season of 2009 and I was set loose at the mall to buy gifts for my family and friends. So much had been going on in my life around that time (Alas, that is another story for another time), that I was in a genuine gift giving mood. There was a hunger inside me that yearned to make people happy. This was a completely foreign concept, and I was loving every moment. For once, I enjoyed going into stores, intent on spending money on things that were never meant to be mine. Shopping for others was, surprisingly, a real blast. The reactions I got from those closest to me were better than any physical gift I could have received.
I’ve slowly been falling in love with making people happy since then. Whether I’m taking the time to make someone something that will hold more sentimental value than money can buy, or hunting down the perfect item, nothing has yet to match the level of happiness that giving gives me. Through making someone’s day, or at least making someone happy for a little while, I get to get happy with them, for them, and I get happy knowing that I was the cause behind somebody’s smile. Buying them a gift is almost an indirect purchase of happiness for myself. If I had known, or cared to know, that gestures as simple as buying someone lunch could make a person just a little happier, I would have started these habits earlier.
I got so many of my household chores done yesterday, I decided to reward myself by getting myself those lights I’ve been dying to get in my room… whilst grocery shopping- which is still technically a household chore (obligation?).
When was the last time you did something just because, gosh darn it, you felt like it? I’m not talking about doing something because deep down you know you were obligated to, not something that you had to fit into your schedule, I’m talking about doing what you wanted to do when you felt like it, for as long as you pleased. That’s what this week was all about. Surprisingly, I got a lot more done than I anticipated.
I’ve lived by a strict schedule these last few months. I plan out my days from the moment I wake up, I give myself a very specific amount of time to get ready for my day (If I’m not done with my hair/makeup, too bad), I have a set time that I have to walk out my door, and so on. I plan out my nightly runs, estimate my shower and hair drying time and do homework while that happens. My body is so accustomed to getting at least eight hours of sleep, I’m now lucky to get six. Being this organized lets me get things done, but it also wears me out and- in true Destroyer fashion- makes me rebel.
I’ve skipped a class or two, let assignments pile up and have even adopted an apathetic attitude towards the things I should be most focused on. I’ve been through these phases a time or two and know how dangerous they can be. That’s why this week I decided to get it all out of my system. I should have been able to get back to my agenda-toting self in no time. This backfired.
While I was [not] busy not caring and doing what I wanted to, I found myself inadvertently getting things done. I went shopping a lot, I rediscovered some long-lost hobbies, and I slept in, but I got curious and ended up reading 30+ poems for my English Lit. class. I wrote papers on an iPad while having lunch with friends at Pizza Hut. I rehearsed and learned my monologues while showering. I even did my boring grown-up stuff and scheduled all of my credit card payments.
I felt kind of dumb “celebrating” my successful week this afternoon at MoonBeans because I felt as if I had too much fun. Maybe it’s time I quit being so hard on myself. I’ve never been one to not care enough to fail a class (or even get a B). Giving yourself a little leeway every now and again, perhaps even being consistently flexible, can prove to be more advantageous than forcing yourself through a day.
One of the long-lost habits I took up again is printing up pictures. I love decorating just as much as I love snapping photos. This is a habit we all need a little more of. What’s the fun in taking all those photos if you’ll only ever seen them on Facebook and Instagram?
I was so excited to have Kenny with me today, I couldn’t help but take advantage of it. Here are a few random shots I took throughout my day.
Today seems like a great day to start-up with my blogging again. The weather was grand and my day played out with virtually no hiccups. Everybody needs more of these.
This semester is proving to be just as hectic as I’d predicted. I must admit, however, I like the feeling of being constantly wired and paranoid that I’ve missed a deadline. Okay, the latter may not be that appealing, but I like being able to make commitments and actually keep them. Being depended upon makes me feel more important and needed. I like that I had to fit this blog post into a time slot today. (Even if this is my second time writing this because my previous draft was lost. Thanks, new user-interface.)
Next semester’s plans are still up in the air. I feel obligated to finish the 2012-2013 academic year at my current institution. My transfer plans are still an option, I’m just less sure about what I really want. To be completely honest, Claudia and Alyssa are my main reasons for wanting to leave. I don’t know what I’m going to do once they graduate this December. They’ve become some of the best friends anyone could ask for. Frankly, the thought of continuing without them terrifies me. I have decided that if I do stay here, I won’t be living on campus any longer. I couldn’t handle that.
Well, Earth, it seems our time tonight is almost up. I don’t think you can afford to keep me for another hour. I’ll leave you with these photos I hastily took with my iPhone as Kenny was charging.
Here’s to starting again.