Thursday, June 30, 2011

puppy dog eyes.

One of my best friends recently got a new puppy. Her name is Daisy, and she's a loving, adorable dog. She's very affectionate and friendly...but she's also crazy. She has a kind of wild excitement about her that only goes away when she's fast asleep.
I often go along with Scott when he walks her, sometimes even taking the "reigns" and holding her leash. She, like my baby boy Charlie at home, will pull on the leash, straining herself against the collar around her neck until she is out of breath, gasping for air, nearly choking herself. She never lets up, but by the end of the walk, she attempts to stop at every nasty, stagnant puddle along the way to get a much-needed drink. We hope eventually she'll associate her pulling on the leash as the cause for her exhaustion and dehydration, but as of yet, she continues to pull as hard as she can, attempting to go forward as fast as she can, a wild excitement her motivation.

It's really easy to look at Daisy and think, "Wow. She is really stupid. If she had any brain at all, she would quit blocking her airway and just slow up a little bit."

Not that I'm comparing myself to a few labrador retreivers....okay. Yes I am. I am no different than that over-enthusiastic creature, pulling on the leash and collar around my own neck. I know that if I would just slow down and stop pulling I wouldn't have the problems that I do, yet my nature is to forge ahead, barrel through everything as if life were a race. There is so much I want, so much I want to do and see, that all I notice is what's in front, the things ahead of me. I can't look around what's happening right now.

Daisy is very affectionate. She is rarely aggressive toward people, and will jump up and lick whomever she encounters with a wild abandon. She loves being around people, especially the people that take care of her on a daily basis. She will crawl up and over Scott's and Alex's necks, nestling in to sniff and lick their ears and face lovingly. She will interrupt a person, whether they are exercising, folding laundry, cooking, or just playing a video game, and beg for attention and a scratch behind the ears. Often, however, she is simply content with chewing away at a rawhide bone or pouncing on one of her favorite toys while we all watch a movie or talk together in the living room. If she is left outside on her own, she will whine and bark until she is either accompanied, or realizes that she's stuck out there for a while. She will mull around the yard, vaguely sniffing here and there, but always keeping an eye and ears on the door.

I can't help but compare myself to the six-month-old puppy, now, as I sit on the couch in my apartment, alone, not in the best of moods, surly and discontent. Most of the time, I love company. Often, I'm very particular about who I want to share that company with, but I enjoy a companion most of the time. Usually, that companion is Alex, naturally. Alex's personality is not that of a six-month-old puppy. Perhaps it's just because he likes them so much, but I see Alex's animal likeness as a turtle. A turtle who enjoys some attention, but is best when left alone to bask on its own, doing as it pleases in its own time, independent to a point.

I chomp at the bit all the time, running forward, dragging others along behind me, namely Alex, as I try to get to whatever it is I want. What I see and what I want is always changing, and every time something new comes along I fly towards it with a wild abandon, choking and stumbling when those around me aren't quite keeping up pace.
I jump up and shower him with affection, and when I'm pushed down and away I feel hurt. When I'm left alone, like now, cranky and whiny, I can do nothing but check my phone, like the dog staring at the door, both ears raised hopefully, eyes big and sad.

I can't help but be hurt. I know it's not meant to cause harm, or to make me feel bad. I mean, when was the last time you've seen a turtle get all emotional because it was left alone for a few hours? Yeah, never. It would be joyfully swimming around its pond, nibbling on some greens, or basking in the rays of the sun. It doesn't hate company, nor does it dislike is just self-sufficient and happy on its own.

It's like I have to train myself. I know that pulling on the leash is hurting me, and I know that being left alone doesn't mean abandonment, or that I'm not cared for. Regardless of intentions and reasons, I can't help what I feel. I can't help but be upset, waiting with my ears and eyes for the call that says I'm wanted, needed, appreciated.

This is just how my life is. Running, running, running. I know I should slow down. I know that if I stop expecting to reach that unknown goal, I will breathe more easily and will enjoy myself more. I know I won't constantly have to stop and make-do with little puddles of happiness and fulfillment.

I should stop wanting things that I don't have, and start being happy with the things that I do. Nothing will ever be perfect, but I have what I need, and that is comfort enough.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

An open letter...

to any consumer of a retail store:

I'd like to bring a few things to your, the shopper of any retail department store, attention. These "items of business," per-say, are things that most decent human beings are taught, along with common sense, at a very young age. However, whenever you walk into the big sliding doors of your nearest supercenter, your intelligence level seems to drop swiftly and steeply, leaving me, the corporate slave, to deal with your stupidity and utter lack of cognitive function. I have not yet figured out why this happens, but I think it may be witch magic....witch magic employed by the owners of the company to get you to lose your common sense and buy more cheap, plastic shit.

Have you ever asked yourself why it is that people who work in retail are often crabby, unresponsive, or rude? Some are just dicks. For every few people, there are sure to be one or two dicks among them. For the rest of us, however, the associates, cashiers, or workers of the store you are gracing with your patronage may simply be a mirror of yourself. Let me give you a few scenarios, cases-in-point, and general observations of a not-new-but-not-yet-numbed sales associate.

1. If I have taken the time to scan an empty shelf facing of the product you want, check if we have a backroom count, and we do not have any more of that particular item in the store, I will say it once again: WE DO NOT HAVE ANY MORE OF THAT ITEM IN THE STORE. Staring at me blankly, or whining to me about how we don't have it is NOT the correct response to this occurrence. I do not have the capability to pull your queen-sized pillow top out of my ass, and I'm sure you probably wouldn't even want an ass-pillow top.

2. If you are looking for something in particular, and know what department or general area of the store it would be found in, actually go into the department and look for it. Do not just walk up to a random employee and ask them where it is. More than likely, it's two aisles down from where you were just standing, and you've probably wasted your own time, and the time of the employee. You probably also look like an idiot that can't see the obvious aisle marked "vacuums" when looking for just that.

3. If you are looking for a seasonal item, say, egg dye for Easter, the day before a holiday, and the store is out of that product, do not ask us when our next shipment will be. Use your brain. Would we REALLY place an order of egg dye the DAY BEFORE EASTER? See item #1 for how NOT to react to the store being out of said egg dye. Also...when I suggest you use food coloring and glitter, do not glare at me, yell, or stare at me like I'm from space. Why you would want to spend money on an overpriced box of FOOD COLORING AND GLITTER, specially packaged for Easter, and act like the suggestion I gave you is completely nuts, I cannot fathom. Please seek help.

4. If you are the kind of person to stop and chit-chat in the middle of one of the high-traffic aisles of the store, and not move for twenty minutes, I hate you. I also hate people who rummage through purses, buckle children into carts, etc, right in front of the damn doors. What is wrong with you?

5. This one goes out specifically to the old guy who gave me a hard time the other day at a register. It's really cool if you have exact change, so I only have to give you paper money. It is NOT REALLY COOL when you give me partial change. What the fuck? To add to it, when you yell at me for not counting out your ridiculous change correctly because you've caused my brain to self-destruct with your stupidity, calling ME an idiot (literally), I really just want to throw all of your million lures you've dug through the clearance boxes for a half hour for in your face. Another thing, when I close the till at the end of this unfathomably ridiculous transaction, and hand you your receipt, you handing me four quarters and asking for a dollar has taken you over the limit of idiocy, now borderline crazy. I didn't think you could outdo yourself, sir, but somehow you did. As I wait for a supervisor to override my register so I can open the till, you freak out about how I CANNOT OPEN THE DAMN REGISTER WITHOUT A TRANSACTION. No shit. Do you seriously think that any schmoe can just walk up and open the till? Are you seriously that thick?

6. Also, girl from yesterday who paid for four dollars and some odd change worth of merchandise in all change? I hate you, too.

7. I am so onto you, consumer who uses three-quarters of a gallon of paint and then returns it with the complaint the paint is "too runny." The return policy on paint is stupid, and one day your tricks will get you naught.

8. If you are attempting to return an item from over two years ago, you are stupid. Repeating the phrase "It says Walmart on the vase! It says Walmart right on the vase!" six billion times will not magically make that item available in our stores anymore. It is worth a whopping one dollar and fifty cents. Why you still have the receipt for this item blows my mind. Go find a hobby. Seriously.

9. Presenting me with the used belt from your vacuum will not help me find you the correct replacement. The "numbers printed on it!" is the serial number, which does absolutely nothing for you. The fact that you don't even know what brand your vacuum is really doesn't do much for you, either. Again, see #2 for the way NOT to respond to my ignorance of the exact width and length of every brand and model of vacuum cleaners we carry. This also applies to lightbulbs.

10. Don't you dare swear at me. It pisses me off, and I want to slap you.

11. If the store is undergoing remodel or if departments or sections are being moved around, and you can't find something, do not take out your anger and frustration on the nearest employee. That person has probably had that exact thing happen repeatedly throughout the course of his or her shift, and they cannot tell you to shove it up your ass, for fear of losing his or her low-paying, mule-labor job. It is not that employee's fault the store has changed. Asking him or her politely to help you find it would probably be a lot more beneficial to you, and less demeaning to the employee.

12. If you are a creepy old guy, don't hit on any female in the store, especially not those employed by the store. Actually, don't hit on any female, ever, unless she is equally as old and as creepy as you.

13. If the store does not carry the particular item you are looking for, and I suggest you try a neighboring store or a competitor, I am genuinely trying to help you find what you need, and showing a real concern for you. Snapping back at me, or whining, that you do not want to go to ANOTHER store just makes you sound like a lazy two-year-old. Grow up. If you really wanted or needed that item, you would go to that store. If not, I am done trying to help you.

14. You only need to ring the bell for service once. Maybe twice if you've been waiting for a while. It is not necessary to repeatedly smack the bell from the time you reach the desk until someone comes running to your aid to please, please stop the infernal ringing, for the love of God.

15. "That one thing I'm thinking know....that one thing...." is not a good description of the product I'm supposed to help you find. Try again.

Please keep in mind, my dear customer, that most of the time the employee's attitude directly reflects how you are treating them. I, for example, always greet a customer with a smile, asking politely and eagerly if they need help with anything. If you walk away from me believing I am the biggest bitch on the planet, chances are YOU are the biggest bitch on the planet. I respect the fact that not finding things, stressful days, kids, a family, work, and other factors may make you on edge and impatient, but you must realize that the person you are aggravating over the store's lack of "strike-anywhere matches" is just that...a person. Use common sense and courtesy, and I will help you with nearly anything and everything you need to have a good shopping experience. If you are upset with me because I have refused to help you, been rude, ignored you, or said something uncalled for, you have every right to be angry and dissatisfied with the service you received.

If your complaint is out of my control, however, it is not appropriate to unleash a torrent of rage over our lack of Christmas lights in the middle of June. Buy a calendar, they are over in the stationery department.

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

car stereo remedy

I needed some new music, DESPERATELY, to have playing in my car for my drive to and from work. Although it's only about a five minute drive, I'm spending quite a bit more time in my car lately, and the radio just wasn't cutting it.

I went on and did a little splurging. I invested in "The Way It Was" by Parachute, and "Sigh No More" by Mumford & Sons, and also a few random songs I've been hankering for lately.

I've compiled my first mix CD of the summer, and I am excited to cycle through it a few hundred times, before I get bored and get back on Amazon for some more.
If anybody is reading this blog (Hello? Yoo-hoo!?), please leave your musical suggestions, either here, or some other way. I'm open to just about anything. From the following playlist, you can kind of get a feel for my tastes, but the extent of my musical inclinations is just about as vast as it goes. Lay it on me, and I'll let you know how I like it!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

keep my head from goin' down.

"Something To Believe In" - Parachute
I heard this song for the first time today on radio, driving home from work. I fell in love as soon as it hit the first chorus. Right up my alley, bluesy-gospel, heavy piano power chords... 
Not only is this song musically beautiful, it also has a great message. It kind of puts into a few minutes how I've felt for the past few years.
For two and a half years, I had to provide all hope, motivation, and inspiration for someone who claimed he had none of his own. He claimed depression took away everything he had, which left him sucking me dry.
After a while, depression was his crutch. He no longer even attempted to find motivation or dreams of his own...he simply expected to find these things from external sources, be it his medication, other people, or me.

He knew that he couldn't live that way. There is only so much you can take from others... attempting to fill one self up with purely external energy is not enough to sustain a person. He gave up when I left. Instead of accepting that he had to find his own reasons, he continued to expect his reasons to come from other people. He had spent so long believing that only things outside of himself would make him happy, he believed it.

I've suffered from depression most of my life. I was not diagnosed until I displayed classic major depressive symptoms after he died, but I had a form of depression, that manifests in high anxiety, since elementary school, possibly even before. 
The difference between he and I, however, is I was never taught that my problems were anything special. Since I was not diagnosed, we never knew it was a "real" issue, but my parents dealt with my anxiety in an understanding but passive way. My symptoms were seen as things I have some level of control over. To an extent, I couldn't control them. I would get anxious or have a panic attack whether I wanted to or not. What I could control, however, was my reaction to it, and subsequent actions. I was taught that I could overcome any obstacle, all it took was self-control and motivation from inside myself.
I was taught it was NEVER okay to use anxiety, depression, or my panic attacks as an excuse for a failure.
I thank my parents every single day for not coddling me, and for teaching me to be responsible for my own actions, and through those actions, my own happiness. 

He believed that the pills he was on were the answer to everything. They would make him happy.
He claimed that no medication ever worked on him. I refuse to believe that. I think that he didn't understand how they worked. He didn't need higher dosages, he didn't have an incurable disease. He was sick, yes, very sick. His cure, however, was not chemicals alone. The chemicals would give him the ability to choose for himself his reaction to life, and the obstacles we all face. 
He never took any normal life situation very well. Everything was amplified, over-dramatic, and traumatic. He felt his situation was a curse. It wasn't fair, and he was given an unfair shake at life.
He didn't see how good he had it.

I believe that my medication allows me to have the ability to choose to be happy. I have to do that myself. I choose to love my life, and all that I'm given.

Depression is real. Mental illnesses are real. They are not a choice. They are a problem. They need answers, solutions, cures. However, I believe a lot of a person's experience dealing with an illness of this nature is not about drugs, anatomy, or unstoppable forces. The experience is how hard that person is willing to work, to fight, to push through. 
You wake up every morning looking for your answer; waiting for your sign...
Well Jeremiah's on his way to tell the people, but you watch him pass you by.
You walk the streets at night, still looking for your reason, but you don't wanna try.
You swear the world has got you backed into a corner, but no one holds your hand to walk into a fight.
You swear the light is gonna find you, but it can't find you when you're waiting all the time.

...sometimes its hard to keep on living, but you're the one who's got to know just when it's right.
No one gets to where they want to be by wishing. 
Don't expect others to give you your happiness. You make your own happiness. If you are content to happy with yourself, and can be satisfied on your own, only then can you truly accept another person to share in that happiness, and give back to them as much as you take from them. If you hold no respect and love for yourself, you cannot give love back to anyone in the way they deserve. You will take, and take, and take, and never give back. You will not make them happy, as much as you want to....and you will not be happy, either. 

This I promise you.

Don't wait for life to come to you. Run out and meet it, or you'll miss it.

I stumbled upon a girl who posted a picture of herself, not made up, just in her every day clothing, hair, makeup, whatever. I feel like a lot of my pictures of myself are fakey. They are me, but most of the time I pick and choose which pictures I post.
Here is me today, after work, with runny makeup and frizzy hair. This is STILL better than I look about 95% of the time. One day, I will be proud of who I am all of the time, but for now, here is my less-than-perfect self. I am trying very hard to be less self-conscious and self-obsessed, and try to just be happy with what I was given and who I am. 
After all, I think that other girls are much prettier with less makeup and work, in their more natural states...the same is probably true of me, even if I can't see it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

big girl pants.

I got a text message from a band friend and TBS sister yesterday. It was a picture of her left hand, and her ring finger was sporting an impressive (and very beautiful) diamond engagement ring. I sent back an excited text and sat at my desk smiling like an idiot for a few minutes.
Then, my smile faded as I counted back the years between her age and mine.

Two years, maybe less.
The scary thing is that Alex IS her age.

I have been engaged previously, for two years, from when I was sixteen until I was eighteen. I wore a ring with two tiny diamonds for the majority of those two years on my left-hand ring finger. We were too young for it to feel real, though. It was always a far-off idea, something we wanted (or thought we wanted) but couldn't hope to attain for a long period of time. I didn't plan much of anything, even in my head, and a friend and I perused a wedding dress boutique for about twenty minutes one day. That was it. Marriage was an abstract idea, and I had a difficult time imagining it. In my head, it was never really "real." I won't deny what it was, or say that wasn't the ultimate goal, but marrying Joe was never something that I fully grasped, understood, or could envision completely.

Thinking about marriage, engagement, and pretty much being an adult in general is kind of a foreign concept to me, as much "experience" as I claim to have in that situation. I mean, I still whine about having to do the dishes after dinner when I go home, and I proudly display my crayons and coloring books in the living room of my apartment.  I have a job and pay bills, but that's about the extent of my maturity.

People my age, and even younger, are wearing big diamond rings, having babies, planning weddings, moving in with spouses or even significant others, buying homes, graduating, and doing all kinds of big-person things. I can't even imagine myself being a mother, as much as I love kids. Right now, I will babysit them, not reproduce them, thanks very much. The idea of me planning a wedding is something I can imagine doing...but actually becoming a "Mrs." is a little bit different. Weddings are fun, and I like them. It's what comes AFTER that day that is still a bit murky to me.

Perhaps in the two years between me and graduation, I will grow. Maybe those two years are a big step in life, and I just have to wait for my personality to evolve around my age. There is a huge difference between a newborn and a two-year-old, and although my physical appearance won't change much (in all probability), perhaps I will mature in a different way. Two years can make a big difference.

It's not like I really want to lose the part of myself that likes coloring books and playing in the park. I never want to be old and serious. Just old and wise. Not an intellectual "wise," per-say,  but a more appreciative, caring, and understanding "wise." I want to be able to fully understand and appreciate the gifts I've been given, through other people, and through myself.

I'm not going to go through the next two years staring at my left-hand ring finger. It's fun to dream, and imagine, and hope. It's good to have plans, to an extent. However, if there is one thing I've learned from my life so far, it's that life is unpredictable. Life always changes. So far, it's been exceeding everything I could have hoped for, and reality is turning out to be bigger and better than the plans I had made for myself. Why would I confine myself now?
I'm definitely not going to expect that in two years I will be ready to drop the "Bass." I may find that I'm ready next week.....or in five or ten years. I don't know... and the great thing about my relationship with Alex is that we usually move through things at about the same pace....usually. I am so content with where we are right now...having fun and enjoying one day at a time. I don't think I've ever laughed so much. Who knows? Maybe I won't end up marrying Alex at all. Maybe one day we will find that it's not what we want out of life. And who is saying I will ever get married at all, to anyone? I feel very strongly that at this point I'd like to be a wife and mom, but as I grow, I may change. That's the beauty about life's unpredictability: it's literally impossible to know EXACTLY what will happen down the road.

I don't know about you, but I really, REALLY like surprises, anyway.

I am not saying I'm not CRAZY ECSTATIC for my friends who have become moms, or are planning weddings.  I love partying at weddings, and holding new babies, and buying shower gifts and being excited. I'm just not ready to be getting excited about myself, in that way.

I'm just excited to be actually graduating on time.

And here is a picture of trees that I took on campus day before last:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I put a picture of him in my room.
It's just a tiny wallet-sized senior photo from like four years ago. I found it in my own wallet while I was digging through all the crap in it to find my insurance card. For some reason, I have a hard time throwing away useless things like old receipts and expired promotional cards. That little voice in the back of my head goes, "As soon as you throw it away, you'll need it!" Yeah, okay. Maybe if I need some kindling when I become a hobo or something.


The picture was shoved between some old receipts from restaurants in the Black Hills and a punch card for a free drink at Java City. I had been tacking pictures of friends and family to my bulletin board, so I figured it wouldn't hurt if I tucked him in between them, since I wouldn't ever throw it away. How could I, when I still keep $2.76 receipts? I stuck the tack through the top of the picture, just missing the top of his hair, and went about my day.

Later, as I was packing up my phone and purse to go to band rehearsal, my eyes wandered for a second over to my bulletin board, full of friends and people I love. They scanned each face, happily, until coming to rest on his face. I stepped closer to examine it, nose almost touching the picture.

The picture was old, even two years ago. He was only seventeen in the picture; three years before he died. His face was much thinner, and his hair longer. A neat black button-down shirt just barely blended into the background, and his hands rested on his legs, one on each thigh, the way photographers make you place them to look "natural." I looked at the hands for a while.

I used to think that his senior pictures were the best thing ever. Any picture of him was great. I know I at least cared for him, if not loved him, while we were together. If I didn't, it wouldn't have been two and a half years. Yet, as I looked at the face, the hands, and the hair, I realized I don't see very much in him at all anymore.

I know that I have moved least enough to stop obsessing over what happened and why, and continue on with the life I deserve.

I can also tell that I'm getting farther and farther away from him, and that dark place. It's getting more and more difficult to write about it. I still want to write my book, and maybe get it published, but I just can't seem to find the inspiration or the right state of mind to properly describe and analyze my feelings and experiences. Most of the time, I'd rather go watch movies with the guys, hang out with Alex, or talk to my friends. I can feel that old part of myself slipping away more quickly than it has before.
I know this is a good thing, and that it needs to happen.

I just don't want to get too "used" to having it easy. I don't want to take people and situations for granted. I could tell it was starting to happen with Alex, and I almost lost him.

Assuming things will always be fine, or that someone will stick around for you, no matter what, is not a good thing to do. You can trust them and be comfortable with them, but do not assume you know them or know how they will react. People change, feelings change, and situations change. The only thing you can do is care about them, and always try to do what's right. Apologize when you hurt someone. Tell them that you care about them when you think they should know....and even when they don't. Even better, SHOW them that you care about them. Often, actions are more convincing than words, and are more appreciated. Do things that aren't necessarily fun, but will make life easier for someone else. Don't expect - ASK.

That picture made me have another dream. No matter how good I feel, I don't think those will ever stop.

This turned into another serious, existential rant, didn't it?
Eventually, at some point, I'll be able to get the humor back into my writing.
Oh, well. Lo siento.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

can i help you find something?

I'm tired. It's muggy in here, and as nice as the breeze is outside, it only gets about halfway into my room until it stops. My left leg is comfortable, and my right leg is all blotchy and red. I know I have an A/C unit in my room, but I hate running it at night. We only have a single unit in the entire apartment, and for some reason, they decided one of the bedrooms was the best place to put it.
I feel really guilty when I run the A/C at night, because I can't go to bed with the door open, and I hate that I will be resting in cool, albeit loud, comfort, while my roommate has to suffer with a fan. When she told me it was in my room, I tried to get her to switch to my room before I moved in, but obviously failed. We had it running last night because Alex stayed over, and he was all greasy and sweaty, and I felt bad for him, too. I wouldn't mind leaving my window open and buying a small fan to stick in front of it, but closing the window is the only way to harbor any hope of not being scared shitless by the trains.
The train tracks through Brookings are immediately outside of our windows.
I love this apartment much more than I liked living in the dorms, and much more than Alex and Scott's apartment last year. It's roomy, generally clean though it's an older building, and affordable. The only things I can think of to complain about would be the aforementioned less-than-convenient air conditioner placement, and the trains.

I did Angela's dishes last night. It was like 12:30 in the morning, and I was washing my plastic containers after having leftovers. I felt really awkward leaving all my dirty dishes in the sink, and even more awkward about only cleaning my things, and leaving her pizza pan and cutter. So, I took about two minutes and washed all of the dishes in the sink. I then curled up next to Alex, and immediately started to worry. Would she think that I'm leaving a hint, or that I micromanage? Will she be upset because I washed her dishes? Why am I so uptight about two damn dirty dishes? Would she feel bad? It was not my intent to feel bad. Should I talk to her about it?

All I do at work, all day long, is stock shelves, move merchandise, zone, and help customers. I repeat the phrase "Can I help you find something?" more times than I can recall. I put on a fake smile, use a voice way higher than my normal one, and make a fool out of myself trying to make the customers happy. I guess I'm like that in more than just work.
I'm really shy. No, for real. I mask my shy tendencies and awkward insecurity by being boisterous and friendly. When it comes to work, it's very easy for me to pull out my acting experiences and play along to the audience, but in more personal situations, it's very difficult for me to come out of my shell, and stop worrying so much.

I'm such a people-pleaser. I will go out of my way to make sure another person is happy and content. When Lizzie and I were moving into our dorm room last year, we decided to bunk our beds. Since Alex and I got there first, we moved the furniture before Lizzie got there. I chose to bunk the beds as high as they could go, one right under the other, so we could fit a dresser under the bottom one. I didn't want Lizzie to be cramped, so I chose the top bunk...with less than a foot of space between me and the ceiling. I took up very little room in the dorm, and justified all of it with "I'm never here. I'm always at Alex's house." I wanted to make sure that Lizzie would have no reason to be upset with me about how much room I was taking up.
I was miserable the entire semester, and I blamed it on her. I should have blamed myself.

I'm doing the same thing now, in this new apartment. I know Angela much less than I know Lizzie, and so I'm doubly anxious and awkward. I feel terrible about not getting any furniture for the rooms we share, and using her pasta strainer for my spaghetti makes me sweat. I feel awful about using her hand soap in the bathroom, and I make a mental note every time I pee to make sure I am the next person to stock the toilet paper. She has pictures hanging in the living room, which I love...but I am very apprehensive about putting up some pictures of my own.
We have opposite work schedules. She works mornings, while I normally close in the afternoons. We barely see each other, if at all, and probably won't much of the summer. I also feel bad about this. "What if she thinks I hate her? What if I'm being a hermit?" 

The worst thing about my people-pleasing tendencies is that I end up repressing my discomfort until it gets projected onto the person I am trying to please. I get so wound up about the tiniest little things, that if they don't reciprocate, I begin to blame them for my unhappiness.

I have noticed that I only do this with women. When I'm at Alex's house, I know his roommates pretty well, or at least well enough to be comfortable around them, and not really worry too much about what they think of me. I'm okay with using their dishes and pots, and I don't get all uptight when I choose to spend the night with Alex. I can sit in the living room with them and watch movies or talk or drink, and I don't feel like I'm annoying them in the slightest.

I'm just really, really bad at being a roommate. The only time I actually felt comfortable sharing a living space with someone else was with my first dorm roommate, who was chosen at random. Autumn and I had similar sleeping schedules and times we wanted to study or rest. We had the same schedule second semester, and would sleep through Wildlife 110 in the mornings together if one of us didn't want to wake up. I found it very easy to be Autumn's roommate, even if we weren't the best of friends.

Don't get me wrong, I really like my new roommate. She and I have a lot of similar interests, and we've known each other for over a year. She's a great person and friend. I am really excited to get to know her better, and I have no complaints about her as a roommate. I honestly think I have a great thing going here.

I'm just annoyed with myself.

Perhaps this will take time to adjust to. No matter how many times she says something is okay, or that she doesn't mind this or that, I will still worry. I'm not entirely sure when those worries will go away, if ever.

In other news...
I also had to go back in to the doctor this morning. I have an infection, which has been a recurring issue for me over the past few years. Since I was a sophomore in high school, I've had numerous infections affecting numerous areas of my anatomy, from my brain to my kidneys, including bacterial meningitis my junior year of high school, and nephritis last spring. Alex stayed with me last night to make sure I was okay and keep me company until I could fall asleep, but tonight I'm on my own. He's a light sleeper, and everything wakes him up.
I'm on an antibiotic series for a week.
I'm probably killing my immune system with all of the antibiotics I keep having to shove into my system. I start to wonder if I'm sick all of the time because of the PFO (patent foramen ovale: that was found when I had meningitis. It makes the most logical sense to me, and I was told to not play anymore wind instruments by the cardiologist I saw after my brain surgery.
I am now minoring in music on the that's how well I listened to that.

I wonder if I should look into getting it fixed. The surgery is low-risk and minimally invasive. Basically, they stick a catheter into the inner thigh and feed it up to the heart to close up the hole. There are studies being conducted (at least one I know of through Abbott-Northwestern) linking PFOs to chronic migraines, which is something I've battled my entire life. Now that I'm over eighteen, I could sign up to participate in a study. The surgery seems a bit unreasonable, since I haven't had any relapse with the meningitis, or a stroke. I just get really tired of popping ibuprofen and getting sick every other month.
I just hate being so sensitive to illness. Headaches and getting a sore throat every few weeks don't seem to be huge, life-altering problems, but after a while, it's incredibly tiring and irritating.

I should probably hit my bed, before my crabby pants stay on for good. Hopefully I'll start to feel better in the next few days, and maybe even stop being so twitchy, and just stop worrying about the dirty (now clean) dishes.