Friday, July 29, 2011

rain pours.

"Be careful what you set your heart on, for it will surely become yours." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Out of my funk....and in a hurry, too.

Several life-changing events have happened over the past few days. Not life-changing to the point of completely altering my entire existence, but drastic enough to completely turn my plans upside-down.

I learned two nights ago that my grandma Pattie passed away. She and her husband, Bud, are not my biological grandparents, but I've known them for as long as I can remember, and they have been even more supportive than my own grandparents at times. Bud was a coworker of my dad's when we lived in the Fort Worth, Texas area. As small as I was (we moved to Minnesota when I was five), I remember vividly weekend afternoons spent at their house, picking flowers in their beautiful backyard, coloring in the books under the coffee table, admiring Pattie's ornamental prism collection hanging in the window, and chasing Maude the cat (who hated me.) I haven't seen them since my last visit to Fort Worth...over ten years ago. Even so, without fail, I would receive a card every Christmas and birthday, and a phone call every few months. Though I didn't see Bud and Pattie, I can clearly recognize their voices, and can still hear them calling me "Sweetheart."
Calling Bud that night was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Whenever we spoke on the phone, they would each be on a separate phone so they could talk to me at the same time. It seemed so empty without Pattie's happy, subtle drawl. Though I don't get to see them, my life feels empty and hollow without her.

Next week Thursday, my family and I (Charlie included!) are going to Fort Worth for a few days, to see Bud, and probably my Uncle Lewis. Though it's under such awful circumstances, it's been a very long time since I've seen my old home, and I'm looking forward to seeing my family.

On top of losing my grandma, I was offered and accepted a position as a marching band/percussion technician at Brookings High School. Basically, I will have charge over a section of the band, helping learn drills. Starting on the eighth of August, I will drop to part-time at Walmart, and spend the majority of my weekdays at the high school, helping with band camp. I am really excited about this opportunity, since we didn't have a marching band at GSL, and it will be awesome to get to experience high school marching season, even if I'm not in uniform. On top of Jacks games with the Pride on Saturdays, I get to spend Friday nights at Coughlin-Alumni with the Bobcats, plus competitions and parades. I love everything about marching season, so I'm excited beyond belief that my season gets to start a whole month early.

I suppose this is what happens when a person complains about a stagnant lifestyle. It's been a crazy few days of emotional confusion, but everything has a reason.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

books 'n bitchin'

Lately I've been inhabiting funk town. I try as hard as I can not to feel sorry for myself, but this summer has been nothing at all like I expected it to be. Perhaps it's because I've worked so much this month, or maybe it's just seeing pictures and updates from all of my friends who spend time in fantastic places....but I am so discontent.

It had me thinking about my plans in life....before Joey....before everything. Back when I was in junior high, and even in middle school, I had dreams and aspirations to do big, great things. I was going to attend the University of Florida, be a music major, and live in a big city. I wouldn't settle for anything but amazing grades, achieve everything I set my mind on, and become a brilliant piano player.

Looking at my life now, I've really a way, I failed myself. I'm at school in South Dakota, in a town a little bigger than Hutchinson. I changed my major from nursing (a sudden, drastic change during my junior year of high school) to English, and I'm finally feeling comfortable with my major...after messing up my GPA and wasting a year of college. I stopped taking piano, and even though I still play, my skill level has dropped significantly. Though I love my trumpet, and taking lessons has been amazing, I still feel like a stranger, like my real connection is at the keys. I hope I can take lessons next spring...and hopefully I haven't lost my talent for good.
Life really changed, and times like this make me slightly disappointed with myself.

Why did I let a high school relationship change my plans? At the time, I was so convinced I was doing what I wanted...and it certainly has given me lasting, true relationships and countless unforgettable memories....but looking at the big picture, I'm lucky I even went to college. That's not who I am. I only applied for two schools, neither of them the schools I dreamed of going to. I was convinced I wasn't good enough, that the fastest and quickest way to make a lot of money was the best choice.
It's hard not to blame everything on Joey, and continue to harbor bad feelings towards him.

Three years later, after ending that relationship and getting past that big pitfall in my life, I am fully aware of my mistakes and disillusion. I want more from life, but I feel stuck trying to get over the mistakes I made years ago. I chose South Dakota, and I do love my school. I just hate knowing that my dreams were bigger than the reality I chose.

I'm hoping that once school starts, this funk will go away.

Today was really a good day for me; a breath of fresh air. Alex took me to Sioux Falls to eat lunch with his brother, Nate, and hang out. Nathan bought us Chinese at our favorite restaurant, and then Alex and I went to the mall to chill out until the drizzle stopped. We stopped by Barnes & Noble, and he got Don Quixote, while I found The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Since becoming a major, I have really enjoyed discovering Wilde. I had seen a play of his, condensed to one act (The Importance of Being Earnest) and really hated it, but after reading the play in its entirety (and seeing a film featuring the gorgeous Colin Firth), I fell in love with Wilde's writing. It's all in delivery, and the high school actors in that particular ....rendition.... didn't do it justice at all. I'm excited to read this piece - a novel, not a play! - that is, after I finish The Count of Monte Cristo.
I tried to convince myself to buy some Austen, but I just couldn't. I feel compelled to, since everyone else in my Brit Lit classes sing her praises constantly, but I can't get interested in her plot lines yet. Alex is going to have me watch Pride and Prejudice....thinking maybe Colin Firth will once again change my mind about another classic writer. I'm loving The Count so far, and it's taking all the self-control I can muster to not start reading Dorian Gray.

Does anybody out there (hellooooo?) own a Kindle or a Nook? I've been thinking of saving up some money and getting one. I'm leaning towards a Kindle, since I use Amazon quite a bit, and don't want to be limited to Barnes & Noble. I'm not sure if I'll like reading off the screen. I was playing with the Nook Color today, and liked it much better than the originals, which are in black and white. I have a feeling getting books this way would be cheaper in the long run, but I still have some reservations about it. There is just something about holding a physical book that I love, and seeing books on shelves. Another plus for the Kindle, however, is that I can download sheet music, and turn pages with a flick of a finger. Since I accompany occasionally, it would be awesome if I could carry my music on a Kindle, and not need a page turner.
Let me know, on here or Facebook, your thoughts!

Sioux Falls - Big Sioux River 7/27/2011

Friday, July 15, 2011


I've been having some existential, quarter-life crisis issues lately.
I really don't like my job. I do my best, put forth all the effort I can, but it just doesn't make me happy.
Friends are having adventures, right and left, and I'm stuck in Walmart 1538, moving features and mixing paint. I wear the same three pair of khakis and four navy blue shirts about three quarters of the time I spend awake.

I keep telling myself that I have all these opportunities. If I wanted to, I could go do something amazing.
Reality is, I can't.
I'm stuck in a vicious cycle of earning and spending money, just to keep my apartment and go to school.
I have to pass up opportunity after opportunity.

I feel like I work more than I do anything else...but it doesn't get me anywhere. I spend breaks, holidays, and my entire summer in the store.

I wish I could be overseas, doing study abroad, or taking summer classes. I wish I could be on vacation, lying on a beach somewhere, or touring a big city. I wish I could be learning...exploring...growing. I'm young. I have two years left of my undergrad.

I know I'm lucky. I try to tell myself that a home, food, clothing, and a little bit extra is much more than most have...but I still feel like my life could me so much more than living by the timeclock.

Perhaps I just have to be patient. Maybe my adventures are still to come.

In the meantime, I'll be under the fluorescent lights.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

girl like that.

I got a pedicure today with one of my best friends in the world.
We went shopping, tried on perfume, and I splurged on some new dressy shirts.
Sometimes, it's fun to dress up, even if you have nowhere to go.