Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dis-missing the Dis-connect

There's this delightfully depressing Ingrid Michaelson song in my head. The lyric currently floating around my spaghetti-noodle brain is "I want to change the world, instead I sleep."

I can relate.

Now that I'm writing a book [starting this week, eek] for my novel class, I feel this strange sort of empowerment. My fingertips hold such potential. Like a fluttering bird trapped in cage, waiting to be released into the wild. That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.

With each keystroke,
I begin to wonder whose life is going to be changed by reading
my oh-so-engaging thoughts.

And then I realize, I'm getting just a tinsy bit [like miles and miles]
ahead of myself.

You see, there's this disconnect.
And I'm not really sure why or when exactly it happens, but we all say that we
want to do big, big things with our lives. [Ingrid Michaelson wants to change the world,
I want to create great books.]

Yet, we find ourselves unable to make this happen.
This aspiration of ours suddenly melts like pink cotton candy in our mouths.

We say we want something. We have a dream, but
we can't seem to go about actually DOING it.
We are too lazy, or unmotivated, or something.

Even in making the outline of this novel, I feel drained.
I yawn at my computer screen just thinking about all the late nights
I'm going to be spending trying to create a brilliant plot.
I feel overwhelmed at my goal, and I haven't even started.

So my question, Ingrid, is if we all want to change the world,
[in whatever sort of way] why can't we?
I think the only one stopping us, is us.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

It may look like Pepto Bismal, but...

When my life is crazy, and I don't know how in the world I'm going to get
everything done. When I'm stressed out, freaked out, and becoming a
border-line insomniac. When I'm over-analyzing and cramming 500 things
into a planner with five lines. When all I want to do is curl up in a ball and
listen to Damien Rice, or some other depressing musician.

When I don't know what to do...
I get a strawberry milk green tea with boba.
It's my ultimate pick-me-up.

It helps me, just for a minute, forget everything else and believe
that, maybe, it's all going to be okay.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My boyfriend thinks I'm fat.

Yeah, that's right.
Come on down to the land of thunder thighs and quadruple chins, where the fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits flow like the cellulite on my hind parts.

Okay, he doesn't actually think I'm the large-and-in-charge Oompa Loompa that I'm claiming to be. [See, babe? I was nice.]

he did give me this book and told me to go on a diet.

That's right, a diet. The worst word in the entire dictionary. A word so potent, it can make even the jolliest of men shudder over a warm plate of mashed potatoes and chicken fried steak. Bloated to guilty in .005 seconds.

Have you ever noticed that edit and diet use the same letters? This is no coincidence, since we are all constantly editing our dietary plans. We look to the sky and sing like little orphan Annie "Toooomorrow, Toooomorrow! I love ya tomorrow!" for that is when my healthy life will begin. [Commence eating the chocolate cake.]

Well, I am definitely no exception.

I hate eating healthy. The occasional veggie or fruit, doesn't dampen my style too much, especially if it's on top of a pancake, or caked with ranch dressing. But make it an everyday, five-times-a-day habit?
Yeah, I don't think so.

The reason Grahm told me to go on a diet was not because he was afraid I would soon outweigh him. [Although I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be too difficult.] But I had recently been complaining to him about running and how hard it is and how much I suck.

Last year I completed two marathons and thought I was legit.

This year, I wanted to do the same. But training is proving to be grueling, time consuming, and just horrible. It's always been hard and a huge time-sucker, but it has never been this
un-fun. And I'm only at the three-miler marker.

Ergo, the diet book.
Eat healthy, run better. Yada yada.
Flipping through it merely made me want to hit my nearest Cane's chicken and
order a double helping of french fries.

But [much to my chagrin] it was a little eye-opening. I eat terribly.
And there's just really no excuse for it, people.

This semester, I think I'm going to forego my third marathon and focus on
school, but I AM going to try to eat better.
[Notice I'm avoiding saying the word "diet."]

Maybe, I'll actually drink some water.
Maybe, I'll eat an apple just for the heck of it.
Here's to being healthy in 2010.

[No boyfriends were embarrassed in the making of this blogpost.]

Sunday, August 22, 2010

You can find "reins" in senior, but I'm not talking about horses.

My panties are all in a wad these days.

I'm on the verge of bursting into tears, or scream singing the hallelujah chorus. Notice I said the word "or." The problem, friends, is that I can't decide which to do. So instead of choosing, this decision suddenly morphs into a [seriously attractive] sobbing/singing combo that doesn't sound angelic at all.

Okay, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic. I haven't actually cried.
But I won't be surprised when these flood gates burst wide open.

It's time, people.
My senior year has fast approached, and I'm curious as to whether or not I'm liking this fact. Wasn't it just last week that I was walking across the little Mingo Valley Christian School stage with my other fifteen classmates, excited to start college life?

I hardly recognize this innocent, little face full of hopes and dreams and very very unrealistic goals. Ha. She doesn't know anything.

I've been caught up in this glorious college whirlwind for so long, it feel so foudroyant [from my Word of the Day app, be impressed] to suddenly be plopped down on my tiny feet, wondering where in the world I am and [most importantly] where I should go.

There are too many question marks in my future.
I guess that's the scary part and why I
shutter to think about May.

Where will I go? What will I do? Who will I be with?

The options are limitless, and at the same time, quite limited. . .
if that makes any sense at all.

I'm worried about not getting a job post-graduation. I'm scared to have to ask my parents if I can have my old room back, and feeling like the ultimate failure. I'm afraid of ending up alone.

Basically, I'm terrified of failure. Like really.
I know everyone is to some extent, but it's like this little monkey on my back
has suddenly evolved into a giant, insatiable gorilla. And I'm just a little nervous about this
huge primate on top of me.

It's easy to "do" college and be a good student. But real life?
Life outside of Sooner football, date parties, RUF, good friends, roommates, nannying...
It's all just a tinsy bit frightening.

That being said, I plan to make the most of this last time in college.
Hello, senior year.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A "pin" for your thoughts

Today was my last full day with the kids. [If you didn't already know, I'm a hip and happenin' nanny of two.] School starts back up tomorrow. To commemorate this glorious day, I thought I would blog about a few things I observed, learned, and questioned during the long summer days. These insights are coming to you straight from the Norman's Sooner Bowling Alley, where I have been at least 70000 times this summer with the chillllen. So here it is, the list. You can thank me later.

1. Why is it called bowling? There's no 'bowl' involved. It's a ball, people. A ridiculously heavy one. Well, I guess that depends on your preferences. If you have gummy, toothpick arms like me, you get the eight pounder, or the six pounder if you're lucky enough to find one where the finger holes are large enough for your over-cracked man knuckles. If you're like my ridiculously strong 11-year-old, you get the ten. Embarrassing.

2. Keeping score is complicated. I don't pretend to understand it.

3. Wearing someone else's shoes is an adventure. By that I mean, you instantly become a walking wardrobe malfunction. And while this may provide you with some strange sense of pleasure, the moist residue remaining from the shoe's previous owner will leave you questioning why you chose to pay for this in the first place. It's also humiliating to ask for a size five when your 11-year-old needs a seven. But you probably won't have that problem. Embarrassing, yet again.

4. With all the heavy ball throwing, you will most likely start to get hungry. The mozzarella sticks may seem like a good idea at the time. It's not. It never is. Just trust me.

5. Some of the old men are not there to play.

6. In case you didn't know, there apparently is proper bowling edict. I was made aware of this when a giant woman with a leather glove and unruly eyebrows yelled at me for walking up to my lane before she had finished her turn. If you have the misfortune of seeing this not-so-nice lady, you should switch lanes. And fast. Or you could wait your turn. But who wants to do that?

7. You can tell a lot about a person by how they bowl, besides how talented they may be at hurling a lead ball at still objects. The optimist will stand there filled with hope as they watch their ball fly down the lane. Even when there is absolutely no possibility of it suddenly jumping sixteen inches to the right, they will faithfully watch the heavy thing spin down the long stretch of hardwood, just in case.

The realists accept their bowling fate early. They rationally discern their ball is in fact not going in the desired direction. Ergo, they turn their backs and take a seat before the ball has a chance to hit the ball return.
The pessimist is similar to the realist, however, there is usually more body language involved. I've seen kicking, clapping, stomping, and eye rolling. I've heard cursing, huffs, and defeated sighs. They're are all super intense about it.

Needless to say, I'm not a huge fan of bowling. It's frustrating. I'm inconsistent and get easily embarrassed when my 9-year-old crushes me, game after game.
And this is without bumpers, people.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Open Road

It's been a while since I've been in the car for more than a few hours. I get pretty antsy when it comes to excruciatingly long car rides. About two hours in, I get this I-have-to-move-right-noooooow kind of feeling, which [of course] is horrible because that's absolutely not happening, no matter how much I complain to Grahm about it. This, coupled with my complete inability to read in a moving vehicle, [I blame my dad's terrible case of motion sickness] causes me to not exactly look forward to long drives.

Usually, I zonk out for as long as possible [only to wake up at our final destination or when I have to pee]. This time around, however, I was Grahm's only other road trip buddy, so I felt some intense pressure to be even more entertaining than I usually am [a tough tough task, my friends].

Our eight-hour adventure turned into a tinsy bit longer because Oklahoma can't seem to get its act together regarding construction. There have been days when I thought about grabbing a hammer and reporting for duty. Surely, I can make this go just a tad faster.

Once we trudged through Oklahoma, we were well on our way to the land of Texas. Many many hours of scream singing, word games, eating ridiculous amounts of sugar, and long discussions on the OT/sin, we finally arrived in San Antonio. We got to see his wonderful family there. It was nice to relax and get to know them better. It's funny how certain things about a person completely make sense when you're around his family for a while. I wish we could have stayed longer.

The best part of traveling [besides going someplace new and being in the company of a good-looking boy] is being able to have yourself a big, fat reality check. Driving down the open road, we saw tons and tons and tons of cars. All those vehicles were going somewhere. All of them had people inside. People who were on vacation. People coming home from work. People on their way to see a loved one. People just getting out of a divorce. People who are depressed, lonely, and sad. People who need love.

I like to think about all the unknown faces, the story of their lives. I like to wonder where they're going and why they're headed that way. It's a good reminder that "Hey wow. The world doesn't actually revolve around Jena Marie Carper." Other people exist.

There are people all over this world, coming and going. Living and dying. We all have a story. We all are important to our Creator, because He shows no partiality. He cares for every one of us. I need these reminders a lot.

[He wasn't aware that I was recording him ;)]

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Across the oceans, love is still in motion

I normally don't like to post videos. After all, shouldn't blogging be about our words?
But I found the exception.
[There was not enough kleenex to go 'round]

One of my best friends [who just so happens to be pregnant] just found out that her husband is going to be deployed soon after his training. This means he will most likely miss the birth/first few months of his first child's life.

She is unusually strong about all of this.
Because she is way more amazing than I am [or ever ever will be.]

I'm so glad my dad is in no way affiliated with the military. I don't think I could handle it.
I love being able to call him, see him whenever I please.
I can't imagine it being any other way, I'm a daddy's girl.

[My favorite part is 5:33-5:48]

We forget that the soldiers fighting to keep us safe have families too. They have
lives outside of their duties. God bless them for doing what they do, all for us.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Two losts souls, swimming in a fish bowl

We all have them. We all regret them. We all look [not so fondly] back to our younger years, and we can't help but laugh at our naive little selves. You know what I'm talking about. Those people we were with, the ones we dated and thought [for some crazy crazy reason] that it was a good idea. As Peter Pan would say, we all clung to our happy thoughts [this is not recommended] and believed with all of our oh-so-hopeful hearts that this person was the one.

Of course, that's ridiculous to us now. After all, we've mat-yured.
Our perfect hindsight vision reveals to us the impossibility of it ever ever [even in the best of circumstances] working out with said person. But we went on believing, blindly bathing in the Tinkerbell's pixie dust, imagining that together we will one day fly off into wedded bliss.

The past few days I've been wondering what the point of all this is, this relationship thing. Do we even get anything out of it in the inevitable and oh-so bitter end? Why do we insist on thrusting ourselves right back into the muck of complicatedness? [Please note, this is not a reflection of my present circumstances with boyfriend.]

This brooding began two days ago when I took a diamond necklace that I received from my high school boyfriend to the pawn shop [I know, I'm a terrible person. Judge away.] I discovered this little jewel [pun intended] when I was moving into my new house. I wondered what in the world I was going to do with it since I could [obviously] never wear it again, when suddenly inspiration struck.

Forty dollars and zero regret later, I thought how awesome it was to rid myself of a tangible part of a long-ago relationship to which I have no ill feelings. It felt nice to be free, in this small way [not to mention have some gas money for the week.] I'm sure this was similar to how he felt when he took the time to delete every facebook message, post, or picture that had anything to do with me [I bet that took a while.] According to the Internet and my jewelry box, we never had a relationship. As far as they're concerned, six years of my life was just erased like the click of a button.

Now this is definitely not meant to be a "let's bash my first boyfriend" post. He was great. We had fun. And I have no ill wishes toward him and his wife. But selling that necklace got me thinking.

I wish I could cash in for everything else, ya know?
I wish we could go to the pawn shop and tell the nice, foreign man behind the counter how we spent X amount of minutes with a person, sent gobs of loving text messages, talked for way too long on the phone, laughed until the tears streamed down our faces, shared together, cried together, and, most importantly, we grew with this person. Weigh that Mr. Pawn-Shop-Man and tell me what it's worth.

Instead of making a quick forty, we're left with a hole inside of us when the cookies finally decide to crumble. Some endings bring more intense feelings of loss than others. But it always takes time, real patience, to get to feeling "normal" again. And I think that's because we can't cash in on the time and effort we put into a relationship, how much we emotionally invested in a person.

But we continue to throw ourselves out there, we persist in sharing and loving with our hearts on our sleeves. Because, in our heart of hearts, we all believe that one day [maybe not tomorrow and maybe not this week] but we all trust that we are going to find that someone with whom we can ultimately "cash in" absolutely everything.

And I think, maybe, that's better than a couple of twenty dollar bills.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

you can find "love" in novel and "oven" but that's an entirely different story

I realize how ironic it is to be blogging about this,
but here goes nothing.

A friend of mine showed me this Donald Miller article, and it got me to thinking. In a nutshell, it states that more than 50% of Americans will not complete a book post high school.
Not one. [Jaw drop.]

As someone who is passionate about reading and is planning on going into publishing, this is scary stuff.

It doesn't really take a rocket science to figure out the reasoning behind it. We have so many options for entertainment, sticking your nose in a thick novel probably isn't the first think you want to do after a long day of work [well, unless you're a freak like me.]

I hate going to bookstores. Really, I do. The whole process is kind of cruel. It's like taking a fat kid on a diet to the best bakery in town. He can look and drool over the thick chocolate eclairs and crumbly strawberry cakes all he wants, but he can't eat anything. I'm a poor college student and buying books isn't always a luxury I can afford. So I try and steer clear of Barnes & Noble when the bank account is running low [which is usually is.]

I have to resort to the library. It's such a shame returning their books.
I want to be someone with rooms full of books. I discovered BookShelfPorn [best name ever?] this week. And let me just say, my mouth was watering. There is nothing more beautiful than a room filled with books. I mean, doesn't everyone want a room like this?
[Screw Kindles.]

I guess that article I read just got me really depressed. We would all rather read 10-15 blogs everyday filled with pictures than crack a book open. Are all my future career endeavors [editor/literary agent/novelist] becoming, well, irrelevant?

It's time to get back to the books, people. Reading really oes make a difference [and I'm not talking about Seventeen Magazine.] If we have time to faithfull watch the Bachelorette every week [totally called Roberto] and squeeze our daily two hours of facebook stalking, then we all should have enough time to read. Right? And I think, books may be just a tad more beneficial.
Then again, I'm biased.

If you're not consistently reading, why not?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

1/2 Year. It's a biiiig deal.

Well folks, it's been six months since Grahm and I had our awkwardly wonderful conversation at In the Raw [my favorite restaurant in the entire world. Philly roll, anyone?] It was in those black, high-top chairs we discussed what it would be like to start dating, since for us that meant being in a long, long [emphasis on the long] distance relationship.

Side Note: I always thinks it's funny when couples "discuss" their relationship. DTRs are necessary, don't get me wrong. They're just funny and sometimes tricky, especially if you and your potential significant other come to the table with two very different ideas [Bummer man.]
My dad actually never really asked my mom to marry him, they just talked about it over lunch. No big deal. "Hey babe, do you want to go see Revenge of the Nerds again? Oh, and when you have a minute, what do you think about the two of us getting hitched? Good idea, eh?"
[I'm sure my dad was tinsy bit more serious, well, maybe]
Well, the In the Raw conversation took an instant serious turn.
Grahm poked at his sushi roll with his chopsticks as I wharfed down the remaining edamame. It was then that Grahm began telling me that he [and I quote]
"could really date anyone in Florida that he wanted."

I laughed, guffawed in his nervous face. [What a fun word]
But really, I was thinking: "Oh boy, he's one of those. This is sooo not good."

He quickly retracted his statement [to my relief] after realizing what he'd said, going on to say that he wasn't interested in any of the sweet girls in the sunshine state. He continued with our DTR, saying that he was all in and wanted to see where this "thing" could go. I agreed, but hesitantly. Long distance was not exactly on my 100 things to do before I die.

But here we are, six months later. And life is wonderful. I mean, really and truly. I am such a lucky girl to have such an incredible guy in my life. He puts up with my crazy crazy need for constant attention, cheerfully eats my burnt food, and he even lets me get away with calling him ridiculous things like Butternut Squash, Booger Buns, or Pumpkin Butt.

He has officially moved to Norman, and will be here for my last year at OU.
God provided a job working at OMRF which he loves, and a house to live in with a couple
of great RUF guys. So Grahm's ridiculously close, and that's exciting.
Now, I realize six months is not exactly the Mt. Everest of relationship timelines. However, I
do think our little blimp deserves some sort of recognition, ergo this happy post.

Let me just say that the saying is true.
Time really does fly when you're having fun.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Umm Round is a Shape

Once, when I was in high school, I made the grave mistake of telling a dear friend of mine that dancing, in fact, is not a sport. Being a dancer herself, she [of course] was horribly wounded by my careless statement, although I didn't exactly mean it as negatively as it came out. It's just when I think of sports, dance isn't exactly the first thing that pops into my head. I think of sweating buckets, chasing after balls, sprinting, beating the competition, etc.

Dancing, to me, shouldn't be considered a sport, because [really] it's more of an art form. I mean, right? Now, I know dancers work very very hard and are in better shape than I ever hope to be. But dance [for me] was just too pretty, too frilly, too girly.

Well, I recant.

Over the weekend, I decided that being round is not an acceptable "shape" to be in, and something needed to change. I've sadly let myself be super lazy since the marathon in April, and well, let's just say there's more of me to love nowadays.

So last night, I eagerly went with a friend of mine to a free Zumba class offered at the Norman Pioneer Library. I took my place in the back of the dingy classroom and promptly began jumping around with fifteen large middle-aged women appropriately clad in XL tee shirts and sweats.
The ultimate prima ballerinas, yes?

Our instructor, an extremely fit blonde, told us at the beginning that we were going to sweat. A lot. Inwardly, I scoffed.
"Yeah, yeah. This will be cake."

We all diligently watched her as she danced in front of us, trying to mimic her steps. It was hilarious and awkward. I looked around the room to see if everyone else was getting it, or I was just the class klutz. Thankfully, all of us were a little, well, not so graceful. Some were better than others, granted. But in general, we were all tripping over our feet, or spinning in the wrong direction at some point.

For the next hour, we were jumping/twisting/throwing elbows/kicking/and doing some kind of walk that made you look like you had to crap your pants. It was a blast. And the blonde wasn't lying, I did sweat. Quite a bit. It was almost as though I had just gone for a five-mile run, just a little less sore.

I just couldn't get over how much fun it was.
I felt like a dancer, granted a really really bad one, but still. For someone who didn't come shooting of her mother already wearing a tutu, I felt like I was getting my dancing fix.
And ya know what?
I felt athletic, not frou-frou and pretty.

Now running will always be my first love,
but who doesn't want to twirl around like a fool everyone and a while,
dancing your lumpy, frumpy buns off?