This blog is a collection of a young woman's random thoughts, many tangents, and occasional
short stories and novel excerpts. Stay tuned for plenty of bull and brief moments of brilliance.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Home for the Holidays

I've been home for almost a week now and go home next Wednesday. My days have mainly been spent cuddling babies, cleaning up drool, changing diapers, and trying to stay still when Soren or Maisey fall asleep on me. At five months they're starting to develop more recognizable personalities.

I knew I wanted to be home for the holidays at the very least, even if it means missing a whole paycheck's worth of work. Main reason for wanting to be home? I'm not gonna lie, it's for my dog and the twins. But mainly the twins. This was their first Christmas and there was no way in hell I was missing out on that.

Every so often when I hold them, I have the realization that someday I'll have kids of my own and that that day will end up sneaking up on me. By the time these little nuggets are my age, I'll be over forty. I'll most likely be married and have a couple kids by then. Isn't that insane? No seriously, looking into their little eyes and realizing I'll have someone doing that to me is a bit jarring.

Anyways, observations on the twins at this age:

Soren is insanely smiley and his giggles are infectious. When he's on his back, he instantly wants to roll to his belly, but gets upset because he can't quite figure out yet how to roll back. There is something about his feet, I swear to God. Those feet need to be in his mouth along with his socks. His cheeks demand squeezing (and by demand I squeeze them whether or not he likes it). When he sees his mom Kari his whole face lights up and his eyes follow her every move. I can already tell he will idolize the shit out of Nick. Nick likes to bounce him on the couch and when he does, I've never heard Soren laugh louder. His joy in his bouncy seat is my favorite. He has this blue elephant he got for Christmas he absolutely adores. Soren is a cuddle-bug. I think he'll be an adventurer.

Oh dear Jesus, that tongue. Maisey and her little tongue. Every time she laughs or smiles or stares into the distance, that tongue of hers is waving and moving around. It looks like she's constantly trying to get something off of her cheek. She has this melon head and these big monkey ears. I call her my little monkey. Her favorite thing to do right now is grab your finger, any finger, and gnaw on it until drool is spilling out of her mouth. She'll switch up which finger she'll suck on and grab onto your hand with hers. The thing about Maisey is she doesn't coo as loudly or as frequently as her brother counterpart. Maisey is more of a thinker. She'll look at you with her big, wide eyes and her mouth in a little "O", just staring. She will hold this position as long as you will let her. I think she'll be a dreamer.

I don't want to say goodbye to the wee ones in a week, but I have to. Sure, I miss Iowa City like crazy and Wisconsin gets old after a while, but I don't get baby cuddles all the time back at school. I do miss the downtown scene (because, ya know, I'm such a party animal...meh) even if I don't utilize it enough. I'll get a taste of that though in Madison for New Year's Eve with my best friends from high school. Eight years strong, guys.

Soren and Maisey, I can't wait until you're old enough to understand what I'm saying to you. But in the meantime, I will continue to bounce you on my lap and give you life lessons. Main one to Soren: girls love a gentleman. Main one to Maisey: class goes a long way. Love you both.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Letter from the Heart

Four years ago, my dad dropped me off in Iowa City at Stanley Hall, holding back tears, as he left me to be a college freshman. Tucked in my stuff my dad has slipped a letter. This letter I have kept with me through all of college and even took it with me to Ireland for my semester in Cork. Eventually, I will be getting a tattoo of my dad's handwriting (not from this letter though) and seeing his writing makes me feel like I'm home. As I approach graduation, I find myself reading it more and more. Here it is:

You did it! You're a college girl now. I'm glad that you're settling in and already have some good friends. They seem really nice.

Every time I go to Iowa I love it more than the last time. It's such a beautiful campus and it feels like a college should feel. You made a great choice and I know that your next four years will be amazing.

I'm looking forward to hearing about how you like your classes. I'll bet some will be harder and some easier than you thought. I know you had some colorful teachers at DSHA, but college professors are a different breed. You get the younger, super eager ones--and the ones that are "legends" (at least in their own minds) and obviously frustrated actors or performers.

You know that your mom wanted me to be a university professor--probably because it's what she thought I would have been most happy doing. Anyway, I'm glad we didn't have you grow up around a campus because now everything about it is so new and fresh to you.

I'd like to hear about what you like and don't like so far. Favorite place to eat? Have you guys ordered pizza yet? Favorite place to walk on campus? Weirdest thing you've seen? Anybody with crazy piercings or hair?

We all miss you like crazy. I miss you like crazy. I'm so happy for all of the time we've been able to spend over this last year and a half. It's let me really get to know you, and you know what? I found out you are a pretty terrific person. Yeah, I already knew that, but I had a chance to get many reminders. I'm so very proud of you and excited for every amazing thing that's going to happen to you in the future.

I'm sure you know how proud mom would have been. We talked about this moment so many times. I'm just glad you know how she felt and that she's watching over you every step of the way.

We can't wait to see you again. Until then, you know that whenever you need me, whenever you need anything, I'll be there.

I love you,

Those last three paragraphs always make me cry like a baby. I'm so blessed to have the best dad in the world.
Me and my dad when I was little

Friday, December 7, 2012

Head on Your Pillow

Why is it that late at night, around the 1:37am time range, we come up with the most insightful witty things the world has ever heard?


Last night was one of those nights. I was having one of those, "I'm-so-old-I-have-no-idea-what-my-career-will-be-I'm-so-fucking-screwed-what-have-I-done-with-my-life???" kind of moments. I was sitting cross-legged on my bed, sobbing hysterically, talking to myself about absolute nonsense.

However, I did have a few moments of insight I wish I had documented. I woke up today thinking, "Damn, what was it I said last night?" And finally remembered during my bus ride into campus. I remembered the analogy I thought was utterly brilliant last night. To be fair, brilliance at 1am is pretty close to toked revelations when you're tired enough.

Life is like one of those plastic boxes with the different spots for shapes.
Now hear me out before you dismiss me as an insane, egotistical writer-type (which, albeit, I am)!

So I was sitting on my bed, thinking about my life the past five years or so. Obviously, since it was late and I was tired, my mind went straight for the negatives. I thought about how when my mom died, there suddenly was this large, gaping hole in my life, a hole I struggled to fill. For my senior year of high school, I filled it with taking care of my brother, sister, and dad.

When I got to college though, my dad remarried and that job was now over to a certain extent. My freshman year I filled that whole with budding friendships and the excitement that is going to college. The beginning of my sophomore year, I filled it with being a part of a sorority. This more than anything took up a large portion of my life.

My junior year, relationships filled that void: two consecutive failed ones. They worked for the moment being, but I feel in love twice, hard, and fell out of love with a struggle when they ended. This year, specifically this semester, I've lacked something with which to fill this void.

The worst part is, none of these things in the past have actually filled that emptiness and given me the happiness for which I've been searching. They've all been stars and circles and triangles sitting on top of a hole meant for a square. The only thing that came close to filling this was my time while in Ireland.

The longer I'm away from Cork, the more I realize how happy I was there. Sure, you can romanticize something with distance and a large passage of time, but that's not the case here. There I felt this sense of content and freedom and bliss I've never experienced before. Not every day though was a giant adventure; rather, it was the simplicity of my life across the ocean.

I miss Ireland, every single day, but know if I go back it wouldn't be the same. Nothing can ever replicate my time there, who me and my friends were when we lived together, etc. Nothing can replicate how I felt about a certain someone when I was there, either; it was a moment in my past now. But Cork, Ireland came so close, so fucking close to being my square.

I wonder what will give me that sense of peace ultimately and when I'll find whatever I seem to be searching so earnestly for and how I could find something of such nature. How? How can I ever fill the emptiness left behind by the loss of my mother? I talk to myself frequently, asking of myself the same question.

Moreover, why can I never seem to find contentedness? So many circles and squares and triangles and slightly off-centered rhombuses. But no square yet. No one consistently at my side, day in day out, there for me always no matter what (beyond family). At least, no one here in Iowa City in that case. And that realization can be a lonely one.

I don't mean to say it's a saddening and completely horrible realization, but a sobering one nonetheless. And lonely, too. People come and go in your life, friends, close friends, and significant others. With all the loss we all go through it's no wonder we lack a sense of trust toward the people around us.

Yet we still trust, still put our faith in people, still search for the good in others. Why? Because we know that someday we'll find that stability with friends and lovers and family. Someday it won't feel like such an uphill battle.

We're all searching, in a sense, for someone to make all that searching for stability seem worthwhile. I guess everyone is looking for their square.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Almost Down to the Wire

In two weeks, I'll be done with my first semester of my senior year.

Where did all the time go? I swear, it feels like just yesterday I was getting settled into my new apartment, and already my roommates have signed the lease for next year. Iowa's odd definition of "winter" hasn't exactly helped me come to the realization that time is actually passing. Case in point: it was 60 degrees today, not that I'm complaining or anything. But seriously, it's December.

I've been sitting at the IMU now since 1pm and it took me about four, five hours to go through all my sources for my religion paper. Then typing up all the data, another hour or two. Now I'm switching gears and working on my Latin oration I'll be presenting tomorrow. I presented these same ten lines from Ovid my junior year of high school at Latin convention, so I'm not too worried.

Still left to do before I am scott-free: 8 pg. research paper on the Apocryphal Infancy Gospel of Thomas, 5 pg. paper on the connections between Confessions of an AIDS Victim and a short poem, Latin presentation, final paper (and revision) for playwriting, Children's Lit take-home final, Latin final, Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha final.

Looking at all that above, I feel the sudden urge to puke incessantly. The thing is, the finals won't be too bad, nor the final play. But when it comes to papers, my approach is a bit odd. I rarely put enough effort into them due to a lack of interest in the subject or care for the class, yet paper writing is something I find quite stressful. But why?

I seem to value my intelligence and college experience overall based solely on my paper performances. As an English major, I expect myself to churn out A/B papers with relative ease. I do usually, but if I don't? Lord help you all. My fragile ego will implode from the realization I fall short of perfection.

Take, for instance, this 8 pg. paper for my religion class. I find the stress of paper writing far worse when I'm writing it for a very learned professor. Yes, most of our professors verge on the side of smart, but you all know the ones I'm talking about: the ones that make you want to be a better student. Luckily, I find about one of these a school year. They make class time amazing but grading time terrifying. At Iowa, those professors for me have been: Holstein, Meredith Alexander, Gilbert, Robert Cargill.

What if I disappoint this brilliant man/woman? Will he/she think less of me? Do I actually matter on their grand spectrum? Probably not...but the idea crosses my mind every so often.

So instead of working overtime on these papers to make them as close to perfection as possible, I put them off for fear of failure and lay an explosion of words on the page moments before the due date. Procrastinating, not out of the love of speed writing like a fucking maniac, but out of fear. Well, this is a bit sad when you really think about it, no?

I fear that this mentality will prove dangerous in the work force.

What happened when I was browsing the internet the other week: a demand from the internet gods.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

That Big 'Ole Taboo

I'm talking, of course, about religion. We've all gotten the question before: "So, what religion are you?" or "What were you raised as?" or more ambiguous still, "What do you believe in?"

Well, I'm a little shithead, so I like to answer the questions as follows:
*Deep breath* "Baptized Lutheran-raised Catholic-then raised Methodist-then Catholic again-went back to Methodist church-went to Catholic church-fought with mother over staying Methodist. So yeah, that."
"Raised as? Um, well a woman for the most part."
"Believe in? Geez I dunno, I'd say booze, long makeouts, lipstick, Harry Potter, and books. Oh yeah and God too, I suppose."

But, as much as a shithead as I am, I answer those questions like that in my head. Out loud I give the nice answers everyone wants to hear:
"United Methodist."

My religious journey has been a confusing one with all the church-hopping over the years. My mother wasn't particularly religious growing up and my dad was raised in a good Hispanic Catholic home, going to Catholic school until college. I was the first child so when I was born, I picture my parents having a moment of, "Well fuck, we need to baptize her I guess...but as what?"

I have a feeling they closed their eyes, lined up all the Protestant denominations, and pointed randomly, landing on Lutheran. I have a couple memories of the Lutheran church growing up, mainly child-like memories like the white steeple and the slow moving fans in the hot congregation. I thought of myself growing up as Christian, nothing more and nothing less.

After a couple years, my mom got the feeling my dad missed the Catholic Church, so we went to Holy Family instead when I was in 4th grade. I had my First Communion then and my First Reconciliation. I thought communion was fun because of the pretty white dress, but found reconciliation to be a bit silly...which I still do.

On September 11th, 2001 the next year my mom felt the Church had abandoned her and decided it would be better for our family to go back to Protestantism and chose the United Methodist Church. I was there through 8th grade, going through Confirmation and everything. I loved the Methodist church, from the worship style to the sermons to our female pastor. The UMC saved me in some dark times when I was 13/14 and spiritual mentors were plentiful.

Once I went to DSHA (Catholic high school) my mom got the idea (noticing a pattern here?) to go back to the Catholic Church. My mom converted and expected me to do the same. My brain was thinking, "What the fucking what?" My junior year of high school my mother insisted I go through Confirmation with my fellow Catholic classmates. I don't really know if she got I was already confirmed in another denomination.

I stomped my feet and screamed, "NO" repeatedly, begging her to let me go back to UMC. She said that as a family, we had to stay together religiously. She asked why I was so against Catholicism and I rattled off my reasons:
*I have nothing wrong with Catholics, but I don't like the Church.
*I don't believe in transubstantiation.
*I don't believe in the saints.
*I don't believe in papal infalibility, or the power the pope has in general.
*I disagree with the Church acting as a political vessel at times.
*I disagree with the practice of reconciliation.
*I don't like their worship services.
*I disagree with the male-only priesthood and the celibacy laws.

And so on and so forth. But none of the arguments made a difference. To my mom, I was being a defiant little derp, and I was. Defying my mother on religious grounds felt entirely badass to me, like something she couldn't get completely angry over. It was this fine line I walked and lead to many arguments over the years.

A couple months before my mom died my junior year of high school, she finally agreed I could go back to UMC and didn't have to get confirmed (besides, I kept spouting off blasphemy, on purpose of course, during classes...I think the instructors were getting irritated...). It was a battle of three years and my mom and I resolved it finally, and I'm thankful we did before she passed away.

Unfortunately, having to fight so hard against Catholicism in my early teens gave way to a bit of resentment toward the Church overall. And even after all this time it hasn't gone away entirely. Yet fighting so hard for what I believed in, and do believe in, made my faith that much stronger. It opened my mind up to more religious ideologies and made me more tolerant in my everyday life.

I'm thankful for that struggle and I know my mom was trying to do what she thought was right for me and my siblings; she wasn't trying to hurt me. In a weird way, she helped me religiously more in those years than anything else. Coming up with new, clever ways to argue against your mom can do that to you.

If you're up there mom: sorry for all the arguments, but thank you for honing my argumentative skills. You have dad to thank on that one for teaching me so well how to present a case.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Trash/Treasure

Holy crap has it really been a month since I blogged? That is sad. It's not that I haven't had anything to say (hell, I always have too much to say), in fact I'm usually muttering my random thoughts to myself under my breath. This is what happens, people, when I'm single, my talking-to-myself increases tenfold!

Anywho, I've had this idea for a blog for a while, and it will either appear hilarious or really stupid (that's most of my entries, let's be real). The idea is what we possess, especially the random shit, are the things that define us most. If we each took a second and looked around our rooms, we'd realize how much they say about us. I've done this experiment with friends before with purses/wallets and seen how much we could deduce from the various objects. It's freaky how much you can figure out.

So here, in no specific order, are random things in my room:
  • Empty bottles of beer, rum, wine, hard cider
  • Shakespeare action figure
  • Mom's old journal
  • Cork map and Irish flag
  • Lots of dirty laundry
  • High school graduating class photo
  • Tropical Smoothie uniform, hat, tumbler
  • Box of condoms
  • Piles of books, including:
    • Works of Shakespeare
    • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
    • Annotated Hobbit
    • Collection of Fairy Tales
    • Virgil's Aeneid Book 2
    • Dracula
    • Bible
    • Koran
    • Mockingjay
    •  Latin to English dictionary
  • Teddy bear
  • Pill bottles
  • Lipstick, eyelash curler
  • Nail polish
  • Converse 
  • Bunny ears
 There you have it. A snapshot of my personhood through the things around my room. Does it tell anything about me, or am I just that conceded? Probably a bit of both. And think for yourself, what does the stuff you carry around say about you? Usually, the results are funnier than profound.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Insights, Wisdom, and Random

Sometimes, mainly on campus or at bars in Iowa City, I feel old as fuck. In some of my classes though there are adults and they think I'm adorable and sweet and little. When I go home next weekend I'll be one of the kids again, regardless of the fact I'm twenty one years old. And at work I feel slightly older mainly because I've been there three years now. And in my room I

I forgot what it was like to be alone a lot. I'm not talking lonely, but alone (yes, Kelly Clarkson lyrics did just run through my head...damn). Sitting alone in my room is refreshing, though I do eventually start talking to myself. I find myself thinking a lot more, not only about sad things but about my life in general.

Am I lonely sometimes? Do I wake up in the middle of the night wondering why there isn't someone next to me? Do I stop periodically on a walk home from class and feel a pain in my stomach? Do I want to scream every so often, "Fuck all this shit," and cry? Yes, yes, yes, yes, but the difference is now, two months later, it's not everyday. I have good days and is somewhere in between.

I love the rain. When I'm feeling so-so, not horrible melancholy but a tad, and of course a bit reminiscent, it's the perfect setting. I'll cuddle up under my covers for a couple minutes and stare out my window, watch the gloomy skies swirl and grow and flutter away. They are like ripples throughout the sky; it's beautiful. If I'm feeling happy, the rain rarely can ruin that. If I'm feeling like shit, I'm like, "Well at least someone understands! Thanks, God!"

Anyways, where was I...ah yes, feeling old. Senior year has been interesting, mainly in that for the first time in my sixteen+ years of schooling I hate school. Studying for midterms? Oh, you mean briefly glossing over my study guide minutes beforehand (slight exaggeration)? Seriously though, fuck studying.

When I see people studying feverishly, I assume they are not seniors, trying to get into a really tough grad program, or never went to class and are now freaking out. A girl in my religion class studied with me briefly and I caught sight of her epic study guide. Thirteen pages long, two facts on each topic and color-coded. And she's a senior, trying to get into grad school, but still.

Holy fuck, did I suddenly feel inadequate.

People going off to grad school? I'm starting to be envious of you. Even though I'm over school, I don't want to grow up. Nope. Nope. Nope. I need to stop being friends with so many juniors, because it's giving me this false sense of security in thinking I don't have to graduate in the spring. People are like, oh what's your job gonna be?

I think I've given about four different answers, most of them lies...because the truth is I have no fucking idea. Sorry people. I'm still trying to pick up the pieces of my heart here and keep on top of school work without imploding, and you want me to give you a five-year plan? Fine then, I'll do what I do best: bullshit my way out of it.

And that's my insight for the day, children: bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Knowing how to bullshit will get you far in life, or at least far enough to survive. If I didn't have such keen powers of bullshit-able-ness, I would have actually had to give a flying fuck about plays I've gone to see or random articles I've read.

Those short reflection pieces you have to write so often? BULLSHIT TO THE RESCUE! Knowing a fair amount in a couple subjects (for me, that would be the Bible, Shakespeare, Harry Potter, literary theory, basic mythology) will help greatly, along with some basic creative writing skills. Take your limited knowledge about this vast world and apply it to any situation.

Do you have any idea how many times I've used one random mythological story in an English class to sound smart? Or spouted off facts about biblical women in a religion class based off of the facts I had to memorize in high school biblical studies? Or used philosophical ideas I learned in Harry Potter to make way in a roundabout drunken discussion? Far too many times, my friends.

I'm reminded of Jon Stewart's phrase during his mock debate with O'Reily: bullshit mountain. It was a mythical place where hardcore conservatives lived (mainly FOX news). I'm not saying one should live on bullshit mountain, but while in school, a couple field trips never hurt anyone.

As long as you remember you're talking out of your ass, you'll survive with your soul intact.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I Wish, I Wish

Wishing on dandelions and stars and eyelashes seems to lead to heartbreak. We wish for things we know won't come true and are sad when they don't. We can even wish for simply happiness and when sadness lingers, we still feel like the fucking flowers are ineffective.

Having an overall emotional breakdown/identity crisis is not ideal during your senior year of college. I despise the majority of my classes and restrain myself daily from screaming, "Fuck you," at my various professors. I am sick of interpreting poor literature and trying to pretend it's fucking brilliant.

No, wrong wrong wrong. Just sit there in your wrongness and accept that the work sucks.

I'm mainly referring to my playwriting class. We are expected to read various plays, have thoughtful responses, and write numerous plays as well. Any writing class I've ever been in has a couple projects with minimal guidelines you are expected to finish over the course of the semester. In Playwriting? Oh no, of course not.

We are expected to churn out a new, brilliant, original play every single fucking week. How in God's name am I supposed to do such a thing, a new ten page play every week??? On top of this, there are other assignments. None of which, I may add, have aided in my writing skills.

So to keep up with the course work (of mother fucking PLAYWRITING ONE) I'm turning in work of which I am not proud. This kills my creative soul. And the next week, I get another set of stupid guidelines, and have to do it all over again. It's debilitating. It's a three hour class once a week and I hate it beyond everything.

My other classes are okay, but none of them inspire me in the slightest. On top of my already bad mood this semester, this is just the icing on top of the fucking cake. I have my Banned from the Bible class in two hours, the only one I actually like, and I'll have to skip it to write another goddamn play for my class later tonight. I hate everything right about now.

I'm having a hard time this semester, stemming from the fact I don't want to graduate and am terrified of the future. Coping with a broken heart and the accompanying loneliness doesn't help much either. I come home, go to work, see friends occationally, and turn in work I hate about writing I hate for classes I hate. Overall, it's been a trying half of the semester.

So all the dying dandelions I see on the side of the road, I am still wishing upon. Instead of heartfelt but futile wishes though, I'm wishing for stability. I'm wishing to make it through this semester. I'm wishing to find a purpose amidst all this frustration, anger, and loneliness. I'm wishing it's a couple weeks from now so I can go home and hold the little twins in my arms. I'm wishing for something to make me hate this semester less.

And as the dandelion seeds blow through the slightly-crisp fall air, I have hope. I haven't made it this far without that, no? Dealing with the upcoming 4 1/2 year mark for my mom is more fuel to the fire. Again though I've gotten through everything with a hopeful attitude, and I can't lose that now.

Alright, time to write this mother fucking play...and figure out how I can express my general hatred of this horrible class.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Senior Year? LOL

My desire to get A's? I think I lost that desire about two years ago, the semester before I went to Ireland. My semester in Ireland, as I've said before, created this sense of apathy I've since been unable to shake. Drinking a couple beers, sitting around and talking to friends, writing random shit, and having fun in general became a better idea.

This apathy set in even more when I realized I wasn't going to grad school. I still want to graduate with at least a 3.0, but currently that seems insanely reasonable. I'd have to tank pretty far to ruin my current one. Putting in just enough effort has worked for the past couple years, then buckling down for exams.

I stressed so much in high school, as at DSHA grades defined you in a way (at least they did for me). Being on honor roll was expected, high honors was desired. I did it all eight semesters, but in college I've managed Dean's list only twice. Not bad, but it wasn't done with as much pressure as the other ones were.

What I'm trying to say is this: coasting without bullshitting absolutely everything has made me much happier. I can write a five page paper the night before it's due, even hours, and snag a high B. I have to study hours upon hours though to get a D+ on a Latin exam, but that's a different story. I churn out creative writing assignments quickly and efficiently. Memorizing religious studies facts is easy enough.

Maybe it's more that I've gotten the hang of schooling after sixteen years. I know how to play the system and end up close to the top without killing myself over it. Grades used to be my end-all-be-all; a C on a test meant failure. Getting a B on a paper meant I was lazy. An A was expected...and this was all pressure I put on myself. Not my parents, me.

Things in life come and try to stunt our happiness. Friends can come and go, men can make your heart soar or fall to pieces, teachers can make you feel small, work can push you to your limits of patience. At the end of the day though you have to remember one thing: a couple months from now you'll look back and laugh at how ridiculous life can be.

When I look back on freshman year, I'm surprised I survived to a certain extent. But I giggle at what I thought were the most important things. Life throws you curve balls. Family decides you don't quite have enough on your plate and bombards you about your future. And sometimes still, God loves to fuck with you.

We all want a break every now and then, and for me, it's been school. I love school now and always, but more so since I stopped giving, for lack of a better word, so many fucks. Not zero fucks given, but pretty damn close. And to be perfectly honest that's enough for me right now. I'm happy with how I've been living my life.

I'll still make my family proud and such and get my B.A., but I'll remember to be happy. I'll remember to stop and pray every now and then when it becomes to much. I'll remember the people who are there through every storm through which I've suffered. Friends who are there no matter what, and the joy of budding friendships, keep me going. They really do.

As much as I hate the majority of my classes this semester, am heartbroken, am terrified of my future career, am worried I'll never finish my books, am missing my baby siblings, I know this: I love who I am far too much to fall back down. So take a break and take a breath. Stop taking everything so seriously for once. Drink a beer and relax.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Bit All Over The Place

Senior year is fully in swing and I'm feeling lost. After two weeks of tears and bad decisions, I'm wondering what I'm trying to do here exactly. My only solace is thinking to the future. The real issue is a feeling of loss overall. I lost my sorority, one of my closest friends, my boyfriend, my previously super thin body, and my will to care about school in the slightest.

So you could say I'm being a bit of a downer.

Senioritis is killing my hardcore. Right now I should be doing a literal translation for Catullus for my Latin Poetry class. Which is funny...because our teacher directed us to three websites with full what's the assignment again? Copy down exactly what we see from the interweb? Gotcha.

Then there's this playwriting class I'm taking. I don't know why, but I'm over writing classes in general. I'm sick of bullshitting assignments week after week. I'm supposed to write a monologue about a character I created in class. In class I was bored so I made a horrible character, not thinking it would be the assignment. Now I have to make up some story about a transvestite model keeping the secret from his wife and wanting to be able to model fully as a woman and fully as a man. Shoot me now.

The classes I'm actually enjoying are Children's Literature and Banned from the Bible. The subject material alone makes them awesome as well as the professors. I could do without my HIV/AIDS English class for bringing me down every Tues/Thurs morning. For real.

Knowing that the baby twins are at home growing up without me is hard. Some days I wish they would poof here magically and I could hold their little hands and kiss their little heads and let them sleep on my chest. That would be heaven. I miss all my siblings dreadfully after not spending a summer with them. It's challenging knowing they are going on with their lives without me there beside them. I miss my sister like no tomorrow. I miss my best friend who lives in Cedar Rapids. I miss my high school friends.

Basically, I miss everything I feel like I've lost.

I've been listening to music a lot lately, using it to boost my mood. And this song in particular is one I hum under my breath daily. I'm hoping it'll help eventually.

"Some nights I stay out cashing in my bad luck.
Some nights I call it a draw.
Some nights I wish my lips could build a castle.
Some nights I wish they'd just fall off.
But I still wake up,
I still see your ghost.
Oh Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for.
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights I don't know anymore."

I know I won't hurt like this forever, and I miss a lot of things. Who knows though, maybe all of this needed to happen for me to be built back up. Let's get this show on the road.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Time Has Not Been On My Side

Writing this hurts more than I thought it would. I feel incredibly lonely right now and am having a hard time seeing the "bright side" of things. The past four days have been absolute hell.

I'm single again.

That hurts to see. It makes my breath catch in my throat and my eyes water. I think the worst part is it isn't for any real, big, horrible reason either. The truth is, he's terribly busy, like beyond anything he should be expected to do.

I never could have seen last Thursday coming and expected to spend all of Labor Day weekend wrapped up in my boyfriend's arms. However, the world has been unforgiving. He did his best to make it a bit less painful, and I was the stupid one to drag it on for three days and attempt reconciliation so quickly.

I'm bad at going down without a fight.

And I did fight, hard, but my fighting could not change the fact that time was still a large issue that could not be fixed at the moment. He told me it was unfair to me, unfair for me to wait around for him to become less stressed. He was right, but I didn't want to hear that.

I lied, when I said "the worst part" earlier. There are actually two other "worst parts" that go along with the first: we love each other and were a great couple. In his own words, "We were a damn near perfect couple, Molly, we really were." And he's right again, we were. From beginning to end things were fairytale-like.

You never want to get wrapped up in a fairytale for fear shit will hit the fan soon, but after so many months I accepted my good luck and looked longingly into the eyes of the man of my dreams standing next to me.  I had even gone as far as to think he was the one and all that mushy shit...and I'm not that romantic of an individual.

He said he wishes he had met me after he had established his career, and true things then would be different, but the unfortunate truth is that is not the case. And there they are, right next door, my perfect man and perfect relationship, kept from me because of time. I'm beginning to hate that word, "time."

This one...will be hard to get over, if I ever do (not trying to be dramatic here). I don't see myself falling out of love with him anytime soon. "Maybe someday," he says, "who knows maybe I won't be so busy in three weeks or after a couple months." Maybe.

I hate to be the cliche female fool clinging onto the "maybe," but I am. Yes, it is over, and I'll have to accept that eventually, but that "maybe" will ring in my ears for quite a while still. So my life will go on, and I'll try to push that "maybe" further in the back of my mind.

I have a full day's worth of homework to deal with today and I'll have to, hopefully not in vain, focus my mind. My eyes are still puffy from the sporadic bursts of tears and I'll hold an ice cube to them to bring the swelling down. I'll work out today to counteract all the crappy food people have been forcing on me lately.

At the very least, if time refuses to be my confidant and fucks me over and Alex and I never do end up with flexible schedules, I have my very good friend at my side. He will always be important to me and has been one of the most influential people in my life. I hope he knows that. I'm looking forward to a couple weeks from now when we can have coffee and talk.

I hate starting from scratch, but then again, it'll keep my senior year interesting.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

One Hundred and One

Well holy crap I didn't realize my last post was my 100th entry in this blog. That seems a bit unreal to me, to be honest.

I started this blog awhile ago to, I'm being serious here, be famous. Well that was stupid because about four years later, I'm not. I'm not quite sure how I thought that was going to be possible and I gave up on that dream pretty quickly. Since then though it's been an outlet for random ramblings and writings samples I felt like sharing.

I've taken quite a few writing courses here at University of Iowa: Fiction Writing (twice), Creative Writing, Performing Autobiography, and now Play-writing I. All have given me a wider skill set than I expected and the class that hands-down changed my life was Performing Autobiography. Never before has a professor pushed and inspired me so much and a class support me through every difficult endeavor.

It wasn't that challenging in that it was difficult to get a good grade, but the emotional toll was insane. Every theater student at the university that I have talked to since last semester though I have made sure to mention that class. It's a must take.

This got me thinking of other amazing courses I've taken here, especially considering I only have five more classes to take after this semester in my educational career. Here they are, the classes (at Iowa and in Ireland) I've loved the most, in no particular order:

*Performing Autobiography
*Bible and the Holocaust
*Fiction Writing (both times)
*Age of Dinosaurs
And in Ireland:
*Roman Imperial History

The most important things I've learned about myself in college have been outside of the classroom, yes, but in these courses too. Most of them were more because of the professor than subject material alone (except that Roman history course...that professor was boring as fuck...), inspiring me day after day with their sheer enthusiasm and vast knowledge.

Some simply believed in me, like my writing instructors and my PA professor. Others though were widely known on campus as being tough, intimidating, and brilliant, like Professor Gilbert and Professor Holstein. Luckily for me, I was greatly invested in their courses and they loved me for it; be interested in the class and your professor will love you, pretty straight forward.

I still cannot get over the fact this is my last year and that I just finished my last "syllabus week" and my last first day of school last Monday. Alex and I and all our friends are graduating in May...and starting in the real world? Theoretically? The question of what my career will be is becoming more frequent with each passing month.

Am I scared? Holy fuck am I terrified.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Inner Demons Worn on the Outside

Almost a month between posts, and in the summer no less? Disappointing. A couple months ago I never would have guessed that this summer would be so stressful and trying, but it has been. Between friends, trying to get back in shape, leaving my sorority, working more and more as the summer has gone on, and worrying about my future, little time has been left for writing. I've lost a spark I've been working hard for a while to reignite with futile results.

I have an addiction, one I've been fighting for five years now off and on. My scars tell my story, though I hide them mostly. It's something I will almost always refuse to talk about if approached and if others talk about it, I stay silent. I'm a rather open person, I've been told, about my issues and past for the most part. Keeping things to myself has never been a strong point of mine. This though is something else all together, something I hate to admit.

Do I need to say it? No, probably not. It's probably pretty obvious what I'm talking about so that gets that out of the way. The point is I never received therapy specifically for this and I've avoided trying to get it for quite some time. Any other kind of therapy though I have had...but delving into this coping device for flashbacks that became a crutch for any type of stress?

Never. Nope. Don't wanna. I'm fine. Leave me alone. You can't make me.

Sounds like a child, right? Talking with Alex last night, I realized I was headed down and I don't like down. I've hit rock bottom before but not for years. And now, with how far I've come and how much I've accomplished despite a shit hand I've been dealt at times, this?

Never. Nope. Don't wanna. I'm not fine. But I can be again. Thank you for making me.

I don't know unfortunately if I would have realized this without Alex though and this summer in general. I should have returned to therapy sooner or at least dealt with these issues a while ago. I took to heart what he said, that I have to start loving myself and fight for me. I've often wondered what I have been fighting for over the years and it's sad I didn't realize it sooner.

This morning I woke up, feeling stressed from talks about post-school life and self-destructive behaviors the night before. I looked down and saw my scars and tears welled up in my eyes. I lay in my bed wondering what to do on my day off. My sports bra was lying on my new bedroom floor in my apartment and it hit me.

Walking to the Rec Center, the sun felt so hot on my skin, but I welcomed it's heat. The heat drove me towards the air-conditioned workout facility. I stopped by my work place, grabbed a water bottle, and started to walk. Looking at the somehow still green trees out the large window fueled me. When I looked down, I saw the two lines I made a couple nights previously.

And then I ran. And I lifted, and worked my abs, climbed those stairs until sweat dripped down my nose onto the machine. All my anger at everything was left on those machines and fuck, it felt good. It was a release, one healthier than my other.

So I'll go back to therapy, not begrudgingly and in shame, but with my head held high. I can do this. I'll reward myself, once I've recovered, with a tattoo over the scars on my right upper thigh. It will be a perforated bow with a needle at the tip, like a thread being pulled through my skin. Sewing back up my past, so to speak, not my mistakes but my past.

Never forget, it will remind me, never forget how far you've come. And I will, it will just take some time and a bit more patience. I have to remember I'm worth fighting for always.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Child Leashes, Amish Families.

Well, now that the title got your attention, hello from Union Station! I'm on my way home from Milwaukee after spending the holiday with my family. I hate that it takes aprox. 7 hours total to get back home to IC, but it's better than dealing with the fucking sketch Greyhound.

Also, my "I" key keeps sticking and it's pissing me off. For the past week it was my "R" key and I realized how few words I needed it for...and now am realizing how many have an "I" in them. Alright, let's try a sentence without incessantly pressing the button:

This is me tryng to type wthout hitting the i button more than like three times each. Missing a couple words here and there but not as bad as I originally anticipated. I hate my computer sometimes. Seriously.

Well, I didn't make my point there since my keyboard knows when it has to perform and only does then. Mother fucker. Anyways, my title isn't completely random; I did see an Amish (or cult...but I'm hoping Amish...) family on the escalator. There was an old man with a wife about 15 years old and four daughters. Then as I sat down to write this here, I saw a mother walking by, with her kid wearing one of those horrible harnesses.

The mother was wearing a face that said, "Stop fucking judging me, this is an evil demon chld. I have no shame treating my child like a dog."

You go, mom. Have a fun time explaining those odd pictures from Disney World when your kid looks more like Pluto than the drunken failed art student in the costume. I wonder do parents consider the cost of therapy with each action? Or are they assuming the kid will be grown by the time he realizes he's fucked up and thus will not have to pay? Well played, majority of parents, well played.

Megabus leaves in an hour and of course I find the one outlet that doesn't work, so my computer has about 30 min regardless of what the battery says. My computer says it has an hour remaining, BWAHAHA. Such lies from this device, such lies.

I'm dying to get back to Iowa City. I enjoy being able to be home for about two days before I go a bit insane. The twins are due in two or three weeks and that knowledge is frightening enough without the pandemonium that is a house with nine people in it when it should probably house five. Awe well, at least I don't live there on a daily basis.

I'm grateful Alex is coming over tonight even though he has to work early on Tuesday (as usual).  I sleep better with him there, and few things make me smile more than waking up wrapped in his arms.

Only three weeks until I move out of my apartment and into the house I'll be living in for the school year with four strangers. Summer has been going by quickly, but has been a sad eye opener to my soon-to-be future existence as insanely poor. I've lived poor before (poorer actually the last time) when in Ireland, but that was roughing it so I could study abroad...this is real life.

Family has begun asking when I'll apply for a "real job" and what I plan to do and where I'll live. If I thought it was bad last year, this one will be the fucking rapture. Everyone seems to expects me to know by September my five year plan and that's beyond impossible. I barely know what the next month will hold. Might as well keep going one day at a time and tune out everyone else with the sounds of typing.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Childhood Memories, The Happy Ones

I took Alex home with me this past weekend to see a Brewers game and visit my hometown. As I've said before, I'm not that fond of Whitefish Bay but do love Milwaukee very much so. While Alex and I wandered the streets of my suburb, I suddenly remembered a funny, happy memory. Here it is:
The Tree House
We walked past *Jacob Lee's house (not real name) and I saw his tree house. Now this tree house was the coolest fucking thing in the entire world. His dad was an architect and decided to spare no expense to make a cool house for a middle school-aged boy. The thick tree goes right through the middle of the house, which looks like a cottage for midgets. It's a light blue color and had electricity. Definitely the talk of Whitefish Bay Middle School when I was young.

When I was in 6th grade, Jacob had started handing out buttons that said: "I've been in Jacob Lee's Tree House." It took me a couple weeks to gather the sexual undertones of these small quarter sized pins. I envied the girls who had them on their jackets and book bags. I was a horribly awkward preteen girl and was definitely not invited to makeout with the gorgeous Jacob in his tree house (which is what people said happened up there).

A girl I knew offered to sell me one of her pins (she had three...middle school whore...) for five bucks and I of course jumped on the opportunity. Everything was fine for a week or two as I walked around the school feeling badass even though my lips had not touched a boy ever. Yet after a while my mom noticed the pin and I noticed shortly thereafter that it was missing. My mom confronted me, asking, essentially, what the fuck I was doing in Jacob's tree house. When I told my mom I had never been there, she asked why I had the pin then since mothers had figured out in the community what the pins meant. I said I bought it off a girl...and she told me that was really stupid.

Guess mom realized how lame I was going to be, even at the age of eleven. So yes, in 6th grade, I figured out it was better just to admit how inexperienced and awkward I was instead of going the "Easy A" route and pretending to be a preteen slutty fan-girl of the boy in a rock and roll band with the tree house.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Tough Decision

This past Saturday, after much hemming and hawing, I came to a final decision I've been wrestling with for about a year now. After being in Ireland, I discovered a lot about myself and wondered how I'd incorporate it into my life back here in America. And with that challenge this year I've figured out who I am and who I am not in this country and at my university.

I decided to quit my sorority.

Yes, I gave two years to the organization, but I think it's time I move on. I think at the end of the day I'm not meant for the Greek community. Maybe I'm simply not meant for my specific chapter...but that's beside the point. I'm grateful to my sorority for giving me the friends it has and the leadership opportunities as well. It's been a bittersweet last couple days, wrestling with how this will all unfold.

I know not everyone in the chapter knows yet and I did not know how to tell everyone; I texted a couple close friends, told my boyfriend and my immediate family, and that's about it. When I was on the phone with my dad, I was sobbing, the reality of the situation hitting me squarely in the chest. This was my senior year and it would not be the same as the last two. I looked through my photos and it hurt to think those were now memories.

I wondered how my senior year would go as I sat in my apartment, packing up sorority memorabilia and shirts. I paused with my badge, looking at the M.J.S. engraving and my initiation date. It will be hardest of all to give back that beautiful golden pin. I gave my lavalier to my roommate who has misplaced hers and most of my shirts as well for her future Little. I will keep my paddle I think or give it back to my Big Sister. Thank God my boyfriend is okay with dating a GDI (kidding).

I wanted to make it through one more year, graduate with my badge and my colored ropes, gather more memories. I wish I could push aside my doubts and trepidations and suck it up, but truthfully I think I'll be happier flying solo this year. Of the people I have told, almost everyone agrees with my decision, that I will have a better year than this last one and feel less pressure and stress. It helps to have the support of my family and friends...yet some of me will always miss being part of Greek life.

This is cheesy, I know, but these songs have been running through my head the past four days, specifically these lyrics:

"I'm seeing all the angles, starts to get tangled
I start to compromise
My life and the purpose
Is it all worth it,
Am I gonna turn out fine?
Oh you'll turn out fine."

"What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone
What doesn't kill you makes you a fighter
Footsteps even lighter."

"And in the end, you're still my friend, at least we did indend
For us to work, we didn't break, we didn't burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I got, and what I'm not
And who I am."

Monday, June 11, 2012

"Home Late From Work"

Here's a little short story I wrote last week in about an hour and touched up the next morning. It's sexually explicit but I think what's here is all necessary to the piece. Hope you like what I've got here for all of you.
*This is in no way connected to any of my other stories I've talked about on this blog, nor is it based on personal experience. This is entirely fictitious. Enjoy.

"Home Late From Work"

She sits up that early morning, knees bent to her chest and chin perched on top of them.  The thin sheet is wrapped around her torso and her long black hair falls just below her chest.  When the sun sprinkles in through the half-opened blinds, glorious patterns dance on her covered feet.  The man beside her grumbles slightly at the invasion of light on his partially closed eyelids.  Rolls over, a quick, “G’mornin,” and back to passing out, this is who she spends the days with when she can.  Or, more honestly, when he finds time to spend with her.
It’s been three years.  “Living together,” she had thought six months ago, “that’ll be what finally pulls us back together…and maybe even a dog.”  But the dog never happened (too expensive in the end) and the apartment didn’t push them together, no matter how small it was.  Amazing how two people can find miles in inches of space. 

When he came home from work the night before, he smiled and said, “I love you,” before eating the dinner quickly she laid out for him.  “You’re late,” she muttered, “you said you’d be home two hours ago.”
He sighed, “I know, sweetie, but work at the office kept me late.  Please, dear God, just…don’t, okay?”
            “I, I understand dear but you’ve been late a lot and I know you’re at work and everything but don’t you miss spending time together?”
            He gave her that look last night, the look that says really-you-know-I-love-you-can-we-please-stop-this-it’s-been-a-long-day-I-can’t-handle-any-nagging-right-now.  She knew she could be a bit much sometimes and that he was working hard to provide for them—he said he was saving up for something special and she could guess the something special would go on her finger—but she missed him, what it used to be.  Late nights talking for hours, laughing at their own ridiculousness, longing looks signaling so much more, showers that lasted longer than they should have…

            The man that rolled over next to her isn’t really there, she thought.  Where he is she does not know and her search has left her empty handed.  She reaches out to touch his back and he flinches before relaxing once her touch runs down his spine.  The sheets around him have fallen below his waist and her heart beats in her throat at the sight of his body.  She misses his waist pressed firmly against hers, his lips down her neck, his hands working magic on her breasts.  This lingering wall between them, growing stronger by the day, kept their bodies from the other.
            Every so often they would be pressed against the wall, pounding loudly with their fists, desperately trying to cross to the other side.  The force was too much though; when they did cross, the effort to move to the other side of the bed was as much energy as was put into the night.  Half-hearted sex felt like freshman year of college drunken night fucking.  It was even worse when the word “love” was attached somehow.  At least in college at those house parties, no one expected you to call the next morning.  Few if any soul mates were met this way.  Her other half is next to her right now, and she wants him.  Yet does he want her out of love or to avoid having to come in his own hand?
            He rolls again the other way towards her and gives her a half smile, whispers, “Come here,” and she then lets herself be pulled into his embrace.  Her breathing is labored when his lips leave hers and travel downward.  Licking, sucking, nibbling even, he used to make love to her with his mouth.  Like this though, she can’t see his face buried between her legs and that’s what really gets her off now: seeing him.  Seeing what she does to him, how his body falls into hers and they mold into one, seeing how he sighs and holds in those grunts with his clenched jaw. 
            When he climbs back up her body, he plunges in without any more warning and she winces; it’s been a while.  He notices, pauses briefly to kiss her on the lips, and continues.  His head is hidden in the pillow beneath her and she reaches for his face with her hands.  Their noses, pressed together, are leaving them cross-eyed.  He tugs himself free of her hold and looks at her body up and down.  The eyes though, those gorgeous eyes of his look glassy and are staring at some random spot of the wall behind her head.  His thrusts are their usual mundane pattern and she only feels the occasional swipe of his fingers through her hair.
            “Fuck this,” she thinks, “fuck no, not like this again.”
            She grabs his back and flattens her chest to his, digging her nails violently into his skin.  Bucking her hips upward, she moans for the first time in a while.  He rams harder against her, his nostrils flaring.  She tries again and he pins her arms above her head and leaves her immobile.  She struggles against his hold and although she likes the force, she wants to fight.  Every movement is an attack.
Fuck me like you mean it.
Fuck me like it’s been months.
Fuck me because it has been months.
Fuck me harder than ever before.
Fuck me like you don’t give a damn who hears us.
Fuck me like the first time.
Fuck me like you need me more than anything.
Fuck me like you want to be inside me.
Fuck me like you love me.
Fucking love me!
            He hops off of her and heads to the shower, “Fuck, I needed that.”
            She needed it too, to let go that early morning, to feel agony and pleasure in one, to be needed.  But as soon as he came, she was forgotten.  So she pushes her knees back up to her chest, rubs the few tears away on the sheets around her legs, and sighs. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Almost a Month into Summer

I'm almost a month into my summer now and don't have much to show for it besides my first big paycheck coming tomorrow. I've written about three pages of Autumn Leaves and worked out twice...not that much really. However, the summer boredom that forces my work ethic usually has not sunken in yet.

I'm getting used to now the thirty hour work week and I even picked up two extra shifts this last weekend to make up for some shorter shifts I took to give more hours to other people. Everyone wants hours in the summer and I'm glad to have the ones I do, so I'm more than willing to throw a bone to some of my fellow coworkers who have taken hours for me during the school year without anything in return.

Alex is working at his "big boy" job with the insurance company and enjoying it thus far from what I can tell. We talk a bit every day and see each other on the weekends. Yeah, sometimes when I lay down to go to sleep I'm sad he's not next to me, but most nights (if it's Tues-Thurs) I'm exhausted and give zero fucks as long as my head is on a pillow.

Money...that has been the biggest hurdle of this summer so far. I made the same mistake in Ireland last year: thinking I could live on 50 bucks a week. Correction: it's more around 75-100 a week realistically. I'll save a bit this summer but most likely break even. That's sad to think about for long so I'm not dwelling on it; I have the school year still and a pay raise on the way to help fill in the gaps.

It's only 70 days until work week for my sorority recruitment preparations. I'm the head of the logistics committee this year, meaning I oversee a team that keeps track of the behind-the-scenes aspects. I think a lot of non-Greeks would be surprised how much time and effort goes into recruitment. Being downstairs working with paperwork and beverages allows you to see how hard your recruitment team is working.

Working behind-the-scenes is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you get to jump in and fix minor problems to make everything run more smoothly. On the other, you don't get to speak one-on-one with the potential new members and feel a bit lost on Bid Day. This will be though my second year in the background so I know what to expect. I'm proud to be the head of the team and am actually looking forward to August.

Autumn Leaves is my main stress point, besides money, at the moment. I'm lacking the motivation and drive to finish this project. I know it's lurking there somewhere in the back of my mind, but finding it is the challenge. I can make the time for it, absolutely. It's easy though to give up for the day and flip over to Pinterest or Facebook.

It's like doing laundry. What a wonderful feeling when all your clothes are clean and warm right out of the dryer...but first you need to do it. Taking cash specifically out of the ATM to walk to a convenience store to get a bunch of quarters, packing up all you clothes, having a chunk of time to get it all done, and finally folding it is annoying as hell. Unlike writing though, I have very real repercussions if I don't do my laundry. For instance, my uniform will be unsightly, I'll have no clean underwear, and I'll smell like shit from re-wearing outfits.

With writing? I'll feel horrible about myself and wonder why I'm such a fucking failure, but then I'll find that one beer lurking in the back of the fridge and be fine. No harm done at the moment. I need someone to yell at me for not writing after work and on Monday nights. I need it to be a friend who doesn't mind me yelling at her for lecturing me.

...yeah, I know a couple people. Hell, I'll even pay them in shitty poetry to do this for me (or even better, the promise of a lack of shitty poetry coming their way).

I'm looking at my Starbucks coffee cup, wondering why it doesn't magically refill. I see my cell and am dying for someone to text and offer to take me out to a free dinner. I see Facebook with two notifications but am guessing their boring. I see the flowers my friend's boyfriend bought her and would like some myself *cough cough*. I see how empty our apartment is and wonder how the hell I'll pay for furniture in the fall. And I see my reflection in my computer screen, and wonder why I'm not manically typing something more productive.

Damn it.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Beginning of Summertime

Original title, I know. I just woke up from a nap to bids chirping outside my window. I'm settled in now in my apartment for the summer with one of my besties, Gianna. She's off at the hospital most mornings working and I'm raking in 30hrs a week at my smoothie job. Each week though I get a few days off which makes for lovely laziness.

I've missed living in an apartment, though it is nice to have one with some natural sunlight.
Living in a sorority house was quite the adventure and though I'm glad I did it, never again. As much as I love my sisters I cannot live with thirty of them. How does drama always seem to follow me? I shall never understand.

Alex is on his way over and we'll partake in some necessary post-work-week-raging and head off to his hometown nearby for the day tomorrow. He's doing a 5K in Milwaukee in late July which means another excuse to visit the homeland for a couple days. I'm looking forward to going home solo for a week for the 4th and enjoying some Summerfest. I may not miss my suburb at all, but Milwaukee has a special place in my heart.

Things are going...well. Nothing much more to it than that, no crazy revelations, notable writings (except for the chapter I'm currently working on), friend problems, grade/school worries, or love-life concerns. Mondays are going to be my main "writing days" and though I'm still getting into the swing of the summer, I know I can manage at least that. And, Autumn Leaves will be done in 80 days (the beginning of sorority recruitment work week). This I know.

I managed a 3.0 for the semester, brought my GPA back up a point and a bit, and finally passed Latin III. I did decent on my finals considering how much effort I put into a few of them. This past semester has been my first in which I genuinely enjoyed every one of my classes. Shakespeare and Performing Autobiography were obviously my favorites and taught me more than any college classes thus far.

My stepmom is due with the twins (Soren and Maisey) in a couple months and my siblings seem to be doing well. It freaks me out most though to think my sister finished her first year in college and that my brother and I are both preparing for graduations next year, his high school, mine my undergraduate. It's strange that babies will be present in my house for the first time in over two decades but I'm excited for more wee-ones nonetheless.

I miss my friends back at home in Milwaukee and I miss summers with Stephie, but the change of scenery is doing wonders for my mood. Summers used to stress me out and make me itch with a need to escape my home. Now being away from Wisconsin makes visiting something to which I can actually look forward.

Being in Iowa City for the summer has been wonderful so far; it combines all the great parts of the school year minus the classes. You forget sometimes how much there is to explore in this lovely city and I want to have a couple adventures myself in the next few months. Most of all though, I hope I can get used to all this time spent at work.

Dear Smile on My Face,
             Please don't leave anytime soon. Mkay, thanks.
Love Always,
            Molly Jane
First day of summer

Summer nights are entertaining

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Junior Year Reflections

The night before the start of finals week, I feel I can give an accurate summary of my junior year. Last year was probably the most eventful of my college days what with joining a sorority and studying abroad. This year though has been a test of friendships and relationships.

Two relationships in this school year, both similar in that they've made me happy but very different. The first taught me what I wanted and didn't in a relationship and what it felt like to be loved. I learned how to care about someone besides myself and invest in something stronger than a friend. I discovered heartbreak is sudden and while not permanent, will always sting a little upon reminiscing.

My boyfriend, Alex, and me at my sorority formal
The second is moving slower which I appreciate and feels more relaxed, more comfortable, and there's far less pressure. There's a panic you feel in some relationships, ones that can eat away at your sanity and make you wonder what's wrong with you, but this one doesn't feel that way. I don't feel like my identity is wrapped up in being with him or that without him, I'd be nothing. Granted, he means the world to me and I don't know what I'd do if he weren't in my life, but losing someone you once loved has made it easier to stay grounded.

Me and Michelle, at midnight on my 21st
       I've learned maintaining certain friendships are harder than others. You become closer-er-ish with thirty girls when you live with them in a sorority house. Plus, you don't have to put the effort in of leaving the house or putting on pants. However, there are those people you've met over the years and say you should hang with who seem to disappear.

It's not that you don't care about them; it's that there are too many of them with which to mingle. You meet so many people in college and it becomes impossible to stay in contact with everyone. Eventually it got to the point that I was having three or four coffee dates a week and now at the end of this year, I'm addicted. That's what friendship does: creates addictions.

Kidding (sorta) aside, I've found the true friends are the ones you don't feel obligated to spend time with at all. My best friend Michelle and I are quite busy, so we have a set date every Wednesday between classes. Sure, we've missed it a couple times, but I look forward to it on Wednesday morning and I know she does too. I see Gianna all the time and we spend plenty of time together outside of the house.

Me and my darling Gianna
Feeling obligated to spend time with people makes me feel antsy, so I gravitate toward those who being with comes effortlessly. I used to think friends were the people you like to be around but I've realized it's much more than that: it's people you can stand being with for more than five hours at a time. You may get annoyed with each other but never bored, that's the key.

Me, Cass, Alicia, and NatNat in Ireland
It's been harder to stay in contact with my sister regularly since she's off at college as well now and has her own crazy schedule to keep organized. It's been hard to stay in contact with Alicia, Cassie, and Natalie since we're all so far apart from each other and/or insanely busy. So how does it work? I lived with all these girls, Stephie for sixteen years and the other three for five months, and that struggle of living together for so long creates a bond that time and distance does not break.

Stephie and me Christmas morning
My beautiful friends back home--Brittany, Jamie, Kailey, Kaitlin, Dana, Michelle, Carrie--and I stay connected via the wonders of Facebook and we all make a concerted effort to see the gang or at least a couple of the girls during breaks. I saw a few of them during Thanksgiving, almost all of them over Winter Break, and a few during Spring Break. It's a lot of work, yes, but we're all dedicated to staying friends. Seven years strong!

Michelle, Carrie, Dana, Kaitlin, and me in Milwaukee at Alterra on the Lake
School is challenging, thinking about the future is stressful, work is aggravating, but your significant other and friends are harder than anything. Unlike the other things though, they're much more fun at the end of the day. And of course they don't make you take stupid mother fucking finals.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

"I Hate Seagulls"

I've been obsessed with this song now for months, probably because almost every word describes me (one of the things that doesn't is cream teas...ew...who wants cream in their tea?!). Obviously I'm avoiding studying Latin grammar and vocabulary and writing another blog post instead. Here are the lyrics:

I hate seagulls and I hate being sick
I hate burning my finger on the toaster 
And I hate nits
I hate falling over
I hate grazing my knee
I hate picking off the scab a little bit too early
I hate getting toothaches
I hate when it's a piss take
I hate all the mistakes I make
I hate rude, ignorant bastards
And I hate snobbery
I hate anyone who if I was serving chips
Wouldn't talk to me

But I have a friend
With whom I like to spend any time I can find with
I like sleeping in your bed
I like knowing what is going on inside your head
I like taking time 
And I like your mind
And I like when your hand is in mine
I like getting drunk on the dunes by the beach
I like picking strawberries
I like cream teas
And I like reading ghost stories

And my heart skips a beat every time that we meet
It's been a while and now your smile 
Is almost like a memory
But then you're back and I am fine
'Cus you're with me and I'm in love with you
And I can't find the words to make this sound unique
But honestly you make me strong
I can't believe I found someone this kind
I hope we carry on 'cus you're so nice
And I'm in love with you.

Cute, right? I smile every time I hear this song; I'm not sure why but I'm guessing it's the sheer adorableness of it all. I wish I could write something like this, so carefree and scattered but somehow organized. It's organized in its simplicity I think and I like the contrast of hate, like, and love. Such a large ascending tricolon (rhetorical device from my Cicero least some of it is sinking in) makes for a great structure and I want to emulate that. I don't see sometimes that my sentences start to look the same or at least follow a certain pattern.

Two of the women who were in my Performing Autobiography class are in the Nonfiction Writer's Workshop and hearing the writing in their pieces was inspiring. They had a similar flow to this, seamless, varied, quirky and heartwarming while also being perfectly subtle. There's this little "oomph," a step between mine and theirs that I'm missing and I want to find what exactly that is and use it in my own work.

As this summer fast approaches (only finals week stands between me, lots of writing time, plenty of bottles of wine, and many many smoothies being made) I dread and look forward to Autumn Leaves. It's been so long, far too long, since I've sat down and worked my hardest on this. I was looking through some of my stuff from last spring when I was in Cork, Ireland and found this explanation of how Autumn Leaves came to be and description of what it's like to write:

"Autumn Leaves was a combination of two shorter stories and a more exaggerated expression of my own mental crisis during my youth and early teens. The first story became the relationship that is Autumn and Jake. The second was born from my fascination with the school shooting of Columbine, but I wanted to add my own spin to it. Story originally was called "The Shooting" (around '08) since that scene was the first I wrote. The rape element became the main focus of the story shortly after I started connecting these stories; it was a result of my great fear of sexual assault, my obsession with Law & Order: SVU, and interest in the pathology of rapists and effects of early childhood development. Mother aspect added shortly thereafter to give depth to Autumn's character and because of my new desire to explore the powerful relationship (and devastating destruction) of mother and daughter. This exploration took on new weight after my mom passed and became much more important to me and a stronger focus overall. I wanted to figure out how a relationship like this could fail so horribly and made me appreciate mine with my own mom even more. The plot outline was finished around early '09, by which point I had written (independently) the shooting scene and breakdown. The next year I started working from the beginning, finally meeting up to the shooting scene by the end. In '11 I've been spending my time editing, hoping to write more in '12 and finish by the end of that year."

 "When I write, it's like I'm no longer me in a sense. I become one with my imagination, with those parts of me hidden away in the darkest corners of my mind. Time has no length; seconds or hours could pass and I wouldn't know be able to tell the difference. Then, after these bursts of creative passion and clarity, I look at the paper or computer screen before me. 'How did I create this?' I wonder. I am proud of what I've done, but if I were asked to retrace how it is that I came up with these ideas, characters, symbolism, or even specific word choices, I have no satisfactory answer. They come to me in dreams mostly, my stories; it's my subconscious that's the brilliant and creative one. Not me. But when I'm actually writing, I don't know where the words come from since it doesn't feel conscious. I guess that's what makes it so special to me: the mystery of it all."

Maybe reading these insights I had last year when my mind wasn't so cluttered and I wasn't so stressed will give me the motivation to keep studying. If I study, I can get these finals over with and get working on what I love and keep forgetting that I love. I'd hate to let myself forget that for long.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Crazy Old Man

So there's this crazy old man who changed my life. I saw him frequently for two years and every so often since then, but he made an impact on me I struggle to explain. He was my theater teacher, my director, and still is to some extent my mentor and always my friend:

Nick Weber.

Anyone who knows me will know at least a couple Mr. Weber stories from my theater days. If you mention DSHA, high school, theater, Shakespeare, or any combination of the four, I'll talk for hours about this man.

I met Mr. Weber the summer coming into my freshman year of high school. I was this short, gangly, awkward-looking, loud fourteen year old trying out for "Oklahoma" even though I could barely sing. I remember distinctively singing, "I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say No" and looking at this man in his late sixties out in the audience.

He was balding, a few liver spots here and there, and those classic tufts of white hair on either side of his head. He had these thin silver glasses perched half way down his nose, scribbling furiously...then he paused and heard me singing. He put his pen down, looked up at me, and his left eye started to twitch. Uncontrollably. I didn't make it into the chorus that fall for the musical.

Mr. Weber would go on to be my teacher that fall in Acting I and would be my director in the spring. He gave me my first lead role (besides the Wicked Witch of the West in middle school) and fostered my love of theater. It was the smallest role in the lead cast, but as one of two freshman in this lead cast, I felt special and lucky to be a part of the production.

At the end of the year, he pulled me aside and told me he recommended me for Advanced Acting in the fall since he was retiring. It meant a lot to me he was doing this last thing for me as a student. The next year around December, I got a letter in the mail saying Mr. Weber was coming back to replace his replacement for the semester. I never screamed louder after getting mail, even my acceptance letter to Iowa.

"The Imaginary Invalid" and my lead role in that production coupled with various emotional issues going on at the moment made for a trying semester. Yet I put my all into that role, working harder on Argan than almost any character since. Moliere's play gave me a reason to go on in the time I was diagnosed with PTSD and the years before I received the correct treatment.  The faith Mr. Weber instilled in me and the talent he helped me foster meant everything that spring.

The next spring when my mom died, I held my composure fairly well throughout the wake. That is, I sucked back the tears until I saw Mr. Weber's head coming up the line. I lost it completely when he held me in a huge hug, telling me he was so sorry for my loss. I had an infinite amount of respect for that man who discovered something in myself I did not know existed and he was here, at my mother's wake, even though I hadn't seen him in months.

Since my junior year, I've seen Mr. Weber a handful of times around DSHA when I was still there and a couple when I've visited coincidentally on days he has as well. Last year he started a blog I read occasionally when I was abroad and hearing his voice in my head again made me smile. My high school friend, Gaby, messaged me and let me know his autobiography was finally published: The Circus that Ran Away with a Jesuit Priest. I think I need to get on this and purchase it now for the man who has fascinated me for almost a decade.

Tomorrow is my final showcase for Performing Autobiography with the written, directed, and produced student pieces. Mine is called, "Object of Your Affection" and don't forget the end collaborative piece with our erotica short stories. The latter will be presented with my class sprawled out on each other in a massive orgy. Hm, I'm guessing stuff like this wouldn't have worked the best at an all-girl's Catholic high school.

When I look into the audience tomorrow when I perform, I'll imagine Mr. Weber is sitting in his usual seat in the back left hand corner with that odd, twisted expression on his face in concentration. I thought for the longest time that it was a negative face, but it turns out it was a positive one. Here's to hoping someone out there scrunches up their eyebrows for me.
I'm on the left as Argan in "The Imaginary Invalid"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Frantic Nighttime Writings

I don't know what it is, but I need to write. I don't have something about which to write, but I need this right now. I look at my fingers and they are literally trembling as they hover above the keys. They feel like your legs when you've been sitting on a plane for hours and need to walk, but it's stronger than that. I need to RUN.

I need a release here, a writing orgasm of some sort, an euphoric explosion of emotion on the page. My scribblings in my notebooks during class are becoming more and more frantic. I am itching all over, like I took a shit ton of Adderall and can't calm down. My heartbeat is too fast; I am chaos. Wow, that was a sad attempt at being "artsy."

However, it's 11 o'clock at night and I'm exhausted from a few too many late-nights working on papers and studying. I'm burned out from the year and want to relax...but these pesky hands...they are drumming themselves on my a fucking crack addict begging for their fix...I need to stop using drug metaphors as though I know what I'm talking about...

I want to yell at my hands and say, "NO! Just wait a couple more weeks til summer and then you can write as much as you want. Finally get Autumn Leaves done with and move on with your writing career. In fact, make a writing career for yourself. Get writing before you forget all these brief moments of brilliance swirling in your brain. Write down all these ideas before they disappear. Write like it's your job...write like you still want it to be your job."

So I'll go downstairs to the basement of my sorority house, try to find some food in the kitchen, and take a breath, maybe read the paper. Tomorrow I'll go on with my day, nothing too exciting, with initiation and senior ceremony at night.

Alex will take me to the bookstore in the afternoon and buy me a present because he's a sweetheart. Perhaps I will coerce him into letting me stay over after initiation is done late at night...damn it'll be like 10:30pm. I like sleeping in his bed, with his arm around my torso, as I smile into the pillow.

Next week is the last week of classes, then finals will come. After that I'll move into my new apartment for the summer with Gianna and we'll both start our, more or less, full-time jobs. Work open to close Tues-Thurs, rest of the time to myself. Four days a week, completely free. My boyfriend will be off at his big boy internship and everyone will be working.

And what will I do with myself? I will fucking write. Why? Because I need to; desire is no longer, no, can no longer be a requirement. I must write, or else let my dreams fail, or create more obscenely high stakes. Maybe I should go to bed before I get even more dramatic. My fingers are slowing down. I hope that's enough for them for now.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pretty Nails and Finals Panic

I say "pretty nails" because I'm currently obsessed with my new manicure: it's this pale baby blue color with a sparkly magenta on the ring finger nail since that's the in thing right now I guess. Pretty nails can definitely brighten up your mood of which I am in need.

This past week kind of sucked overall. On Monday I skipped my first class since I felt like shit last weekend after a bit too much partying and having a bit of a cold I couldn't shake. Tuesday, I woke up early to finish a paper, went back to bed for a half hour more, and then woke up at 10:30am meaning I overslept my first class. Later Tuesday I found out the apartment I was supposed to get in the fall suddenly wasn't being rented to me anymore since the landlord didn't "feel like it." Then I showed up to a lecture for my scholarship that was mysteriously canceled without any of us knowing...and I kinda blew up.

Wednesday was fine, no real complaints. Thursday, my best friend was super pissed at me (rightly so, I fucked up) and I overslept my first class AGAIN because my alarm didn't go off. After our Greek Week celebrations, I walked home when it started pouring rain. I made my boyfriend come pick me up and take me back to the frat house since I was so upset. Friday I skipped my first class since I wasn't feeling well again (seriously, this cold is way too on and off) but Friday night was fine and Saturday I had fun too. Today didn't feel well again and called in sick for work (which I hate doing but I hope my bosses realize I just have a shitty immune system and I'm not a flake) but we had senior wills in my sorority today so that made my day better.

Out of all the grade levels, the seniors seem to like me the most and it will kill me to see them leave. Six or seven of them gave me gifts specifically and I felt insanely special to know they thought of me. Also though, it made me realize how emotional I'll get this time next year when I have to say goodbye to my sorority sisters and all my university friends.

In about a year, I'll be graduating from the University of Iowa and getting my BA in English.

That doesn't even sounds real, seem real, feel real, but it is. How can I be graduating already? All that stands between me and graduation is two major classes, three classes for each minor, a couple electives, and last level of Latin. "It's happening way too fast," I keep telling myself, "I can't graduate yet. No way."

I'm 21, have supportive friends, a fantastic boyfriend, a loving family, a great sorority, and decent grades. I'm proud of how well I've done in college and how I've learned the concept of having a social life to some degree. Even though I'm not sure exactly where I'll be off to in the summer of 2013, I'm excited to find out where I'll end up with my life.

People keep asking me more and more what I'm doing with my life BESIDES writing and that's the trickier question because I have no concrete answers. I say it depends on where I am a year from now, mainly romantically. If I'm in a committed long-term relationship, that will have a lot of influence on where I go.  Because of my major I can essentially go wherever I want after school and would be willing to "follow my man" if his career path was more defined.

If I'm not for one reason or another, I want to end up in Milwaukee or Chicago, probably Iowa City for a couple years at first. Even though it's been two months I could see myself still with Alex this time next year, but if I am single I'll float around. I want to start a family by the time I'm thirty and that gives me a good eight years or so to figure out what the fuck I'm doing. I'd miss Wisconsin, I really would, but I also love the atmosphere of the Chicago area.

More on my mind right now are finals, this summer, and fall housing. Fall housing is still entirely up in the air but I'm not that worried since there are plenty of options, even last minute. For finals I have one in Shakespeare, one in Latin, and that's it. I have a final showcase in Performing Autobiography, scene performance in Basic Acting II, and a reflection paper in Religion and Pop Culture. Not too bad for the end of the year...and yet somehow I'm still stressed...but why?

Maybe I get stressed this year regardless of a need for a good reason. I have a lot of shit to do still and no motivation to do any of my work. I have an in-class writing I should prepare for briefly tonight and write my Shakespeare paper tonight as well since the night before it's due is my anniversary with Alex. Then, read about Afrofuturism, but I'll probably do that before the paper because I won't want to write about the meaning behind suicides in Antony and Cleopatra.

Plenty on my mind, not enough focus or drive, cliche words always...all the usual it seems. A little quote for today though:
"You're only as strong as the man beside you, the sisters behind you, and the heels beneath you. TSM."