“It is both a blessing
And a curse
To feel everything
So very deeply.”
-David Jones, Love and Space Dust-
Sorry I’ve been gone awhile. My life has just been so crazy, so much going on. Not really. I’ve just been lazy.
Plus, the writing part of my brain has been seriously blocked recently. I sincerely apologize for the inevitable low quality of these next few posts.
Even though I am currently sitting at my desk, freezing my butt off, I love this time of year.* The leaves are finally (FINALLY) starting to change and fall to the ground; the weather is turning cold (not nearly cold enough, in my opinion); and it’s just the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year.
That’s right. Thanksgiving is in 3 days, and you know what that means: It’s time to start thinking about Christmas.
I usually don’t start thinking about Christmas this early. I’m usually able to restrain myself until at least the day after Thanksgiving. This year, however, I’ve already been stressing out about the gift-giving season.
It started when I received a text from my best friend: “READY FOR FRIENDMAS!!!” This was accompanied by a picture of her already decorated tree plus perfectly wrapped presents sitting underneath. Unfortunately, this text didn’t quite have the effect she intended. Instead of excitement, it only brought only panic. Well, okay, it did bring some excitement. I’m always excited to hang out with my best friends. But, mostly it brought panic.
It was in that moment that I realized that I am completely unprepared for Christmas. Where has the year gone?!
It doesn’t help that my sister, Bethany, has been watching Hallmark Christmas movies non-stop since she got here for Thanksgiving last Friday. I despise Hallmark movies. It’s been torture.
Usually, I love gift giving. It makes me happy to make people happy. And, usually, I’d say I’m a pretty good gift giver. These past few years, however, I’ve been finding gift shopping harder and ever more stressful. I’m in a slump.I’ve just been having so much trouble thinking of gift ideas. I’ve even resorted to pinterest for ideas. It’s sad. My small income certainly doesn’t help, either. Last year, all I managed were some little daubles and some baked goods.
I know some of you are probably thinking “Why not just skip the gifts this year?” I will just say to you this: Christmas isn’t Christmas without gift-giving. It’s a must. At least, it is for me.
Fortunately, I had a tiny spark of inspiration the other night. I would totally tell you my ideas, but I don’t want to run the risk of my friends catching wind of it. My lips are sealed, at least for now. I’m just missing that final umph. My friends always show up with something awesome they know I’ll love. That’s what I need. The something special.
And, all that panic was just thinking about my friends gifts. I don’t even know what we’re doing for our family Christmas.
Wish me good luck.
*This may have been posted at night, but I actually wrote it at work this afternoon. Don’t tell my boss.
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”
“Her hair was long,
Her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.”
-John Keats, La Belle Dame Sans Merci–
Once upon a time, a few months ago….
No, wait. That doesn’t feel right. Let’s try again.
I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. Sort of. I guess you could call me a…wimpy rebel? A rebel who is also afraid of getting in trouble? Is there a word for that? A…um…you get the point.
For years I was, and admittedly continue to be, dictated by the fear of getting in trouble by authority figures, something that I unfortunately lacked when among my own people. Growing up, I was in a constant state of flux between rebellion and “perfect citizen.” At home, I was a devil child. At school, never a better student did you see.
My at-home rebellion was never anything huge: hiding the vitamins I didn’t want to take under seat cushions, avoiding doing chores of any sort, riding my bicycle around the block without my mother’s permission, etc… Normal spoiled-and-stubborn-youngest-child stuff. I’m sure that my family would say that I am much worse than I am letting on, in which case I would probably have to agree. I blush to think of some of the things I said and did when I was younger. I’m blushing now just thinking about thinking about it. But, still. In the world of rebellion, it would be considered very minor league stuff.
Which is why getting a tattoo is my peak of rebellion.
My family members, once they discovered my rebellious actions, reacted with surprise and exasperation. The surprise came from their knowledge of my needle phobia. The exasperation came from…well, it seems like I’m always doing something to exasperate them.
Aside: It frustrates me that people can’t seem to grasp the difference between syringes and tattoo needles. Yes, it’s true that I despise the terrifyingly long needles that are used for inserting or removing liquids directly into and from my bloodstream. However, tattoo needles, and needles used for piercing ears and such, don’t commit such heinous crimes. Therefore, I have no reason to fear them. Tattoo needles may indeed insert liquid into the skin, causing a butt load of pain in the process, but they’re not nearly as intrusive as syringes. It’s not that complex an idea! Or, maybe it is, and this is just my contradictory personality at work again.
Sorry. I’m getting off track.
Anyway, unlike most television portrayals of such ventures, my tattoo was not the result of a night of wild, drunken, spontaneous rebellion. Well, the timing was a bit spontaneous. There wasn’t any wild drunkenness, though. Sorry to disappoint. The truth is that I had wanted a tattoo for a few years, and I was tired of waiting. Plus, my friend Shawna was wanting one too.
So, one Saturday we hopped in the car and headed to the City.
As soon as we arrived at the tattoo parlor, I felt immediately out of place. The blackout windows, rock music, big bulky guys covered in piercings and tattoos, and slightly inappropriate pictures on the walls did not blend with my middle-class, small-town self. It probably didn’t help that I was wearing a tank top covered in cute little cartoon moons and earrings in the shape of owls.
This alienness greatly increased when I revealed to the tattoo artists what I was there for: a pattern of simple little birds on my ankle. Their dismayed and exasperated expressions immediately informed me what a cliche and teenage-white-girl request I had made. Which, honestly seemed kind of rude and uppity. I mean, I’m sorry, good sir, that I don’t also want the image of a creepy leprechaun permanently etched onto my shoulder. Besides, I wanted birds before they were cool.
Despite their disapproval of our tattoo choices, and obvious doubt that I would go through with it, they agreed to oblige us. Appointments were made, time blurred, papers were signed, money was passed, and before I knew it I was sitting in a slightly creepy dentist-like chair in the back of the parlor getting my first tattoo.
Some of you may be wondering: Was it painful? Well…Have you ever had a tooth drilled when your mouth is only half numbed up? Cause it reminded me of that. For Shawna, it felt a bit different, “like an electric kitten scratch on some parts, and on other parts like he was holding a burning cigarette onto my skin.” Really, Shawna? How do you know what that feels like? Despite the negative, and slightly strange, mental images that I’ve just given you, it really wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be.
Still, it’s not an experience I’m likely to forget anytime soon. Especially since it’s now immortalized on the internet.
And, no, I don’t regret my decision.
The anniversary of my day of birth is almost upon us. That’s right. I’m going to be the not-actually-that-big 23. Prepare yourselves.
Normally, I’d be very excited. Most years, I start counting down the days from the moment my half-birthday ends. Not this year. I have no hurrah in me. Life is stressing me out too much for that. *cue John Mayer’s “Gravity”*
Anyways, for the past couple of weeks, ever since she realized it was my birthday month, my mother has been pestering me about what I want. The one time a year my parents are willing to shower me with presents, and I can think of nothing. When I was little, I would literally type out of full list of things I wanted, organized by level of desire.
It’s not that I don’t want anything. My Amazon wish lists would very much prove otherwise. However, the things that I really want aren’t exactly things you can find online (well, most of them anyways.) In comparison to them, the stack of books, movies, and various knick knacks I would usually ask for seem insignificant. I mean, I can hardly hand over a list that looks like this: financial stability; a new job; a nice apartment; a boyfriend; tickets to Greece for a two month vacation…
You see my problem?
Getting older is not as much fun as it used to be. At least there’ll be cheesecake.
P.S. I know that I am actually very fortunate. I’m not completely selfish. Most of the above is just for show. You know. For the Drama.
I’m not a huge fan of goodbyes. Unfortunately, life is just chock full of them. The next goodbye I’ll have to make is to my sister, Shannon.
As she recently accepted a fancy new job in the City, Shannon will soon be leaving her modest little Weatherford apartment to start a new-ish life. Although she’ll only be an hour or so away, I’m actually quite sad about this. And, no one quite appreciates my love of puns like her. Despite this, I am also super happy for, and proud of, her. She worked hard to get her Master’s degree and land this job.
So, in honor of Shannon’s accomplishments, and as a sort of virtual farewell card, I thought I would write a little “Shannon Appreciation” post. I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about it. Should I write the things I’ll miss most? Should I list her best qualities and quirks? Should I talk about my top favorite sisterly memories? Should I just put a bunch of quotes? Finally, I decided to wing it and do all of them. So, without further ado:
1.Things I’ll Miss Most
There are lots of things I’ll miss. I’ll also miss driving around with her while singing along to her IPod. I’ll miss dancing around the dining room while our dad stares at us like we’re lunatics. I’ll miss releasing our frustrations together by screaming like pterodactyls.
To be honest, however, I’ll most miss invading her territory in order to stay up late together and watch British television whilst eating ice cream. Out of all of my siblings, I’d have to say Shannon is the closest to myself in terms of likes and dislikes. We’re both English majors. We both love to read. We both like to write. We’re both awkward, adorably so. At least, Shannon is. She’s like a baby penguin. I’m more like…well,something much less adorable.
Sometimes you just need a fellow nerdy introvert to be weird with. Shannon is one of those fellows. I am selfishly sad that she will no longer be available to me at a moment’s notice. Plus, no one else appreciates my love of puns like her.
I’ll also miss the hugs.
2.My Favorite Shannon Qualities and Quirks
- Her eating-something-yummy happy dance
- Her funny stories
- Her funnier dreams
- Her excitement over children’s books
- Her perfect and pale vampire-like skin
- Her passion for cookies
- Her creativity and wit
- Her fondness for all things British (something we share)
- And, in a moment of seriousness, her gentleness, innocence, compassion, and love for her family and friends.
3.Top Sisterly Memories
There are just too many things to choose from, such as the time we had each other in Secret Santa and got each other almost identical presents. So, instead, here are some pictures, including one from our days as small humans.
“Courage, dear heart.”
-C. S. Lewis
“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
-C. S. Lewis
“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.”
“You’re off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.”
“May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.”
-J. R. R. Tolkien
“Take the Adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes! ‘Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of the old life and into the new!”
“We are all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”
I shall miss you dearly, Slothfather. I wish you good luck. 😉
P.S. For those of you who are wondering about that last comment, you can find the backstory on Shannon’s blog right here.
“I don’t want to earn my living; I want to live.”