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.