Friday, April 30, 2010

beach, baby


I might be feeling sick, but I'm heading to the beach tomorrow and I'm going to try my best to enjoy it, stuffed up nose or not.

The first beach trip of the season always makes me giddy! I can remember being so excited for beach trips when I was little that I'd stay up late the night before making lists of books and sunglasses and blankets that I was going to bring. A list for the beach? Some things never change, I suppose.

(The above photo might be of the Outer Banks of North Carolina instead of the coast of Connecticut, but I'm going to enjoy for what it's worth, anyways).

I hope your Saturdays are filled with sunshine and warm weather, too!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


baby bud

I'm starting to get sick.

And feeling so very disenchanted with life.

I have so much I want to do, but can't,

(don't you hate that?)

because I have no energy and my head feels like a brick.


*This photo has nothing to do with being sick, but rather is a sneak peek of a little photo project I've been working on. Pre-feelinglikecrap, of course.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

last night

I had another dream last night. I don't think I need to scrutinize it in order to understand what it was telling me, either.

I was in New York City. Atop a large skyscraper. There was this man, standing at the window overlooking the city, just standing there with the window slid open and a smirk on his face. I walked up and looked down. Below us, onlookers stared up at me.

The man was holding a chain. A big, black, iron chain, that connected with another skyscraper blocks away. At the other end, people sat in an identical window holding on to it, looking towards me with anticipation, waiting to see what I'd do. A friend next to me told me to just do it, that it wouldn't be that bad, that the chain wouldn't break, and I'd be fine and it'd even be fun.

I realized she wanted me to swing/zipline along the chain, above the city, to the other building (this made sense at the time, really).

I thought about it. The people in the window across the city and on the streets below cheered me on and my friend kept coaxing me. The man still smirked. I grabbed the chain and flew.

I closed my eyes and didn't look down and heard the air rushing past my ears and the oddest sense of calm struck me. I wasn't scared in the least, as I hurdled through the air along some chain precariously suspended over the city.

I made it to the other end, where the people in the window applauded and congratulated me for being the first one to ever do such a thing.

I leapt out that window. And I made it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010



When I was little, the field behind my house would be covered in a sea of light blue forget-me-nots every spring. One morning, my sister and I decided we wanted to pick some and bring them up to the house to show my mom--it just didn't make sense to us that they should be wasted out in the field where no one could see them.

So we wheeled our doll stroller down the big hill and started picking. Handful by handful, we picked that field clean and filled our carriage up. Unfortunately for us, we also pulled up the roots, and our father wasn't pleased.

Ever since then, forget-me-nots have never grown in that field again like they used to. But whenever I see them anywhere else, I always remember that time in the field with Rachel and our filled-up stroller of forget-me-nots.

Do you have certain spring memories that come back to you every year? I'd love to hear them!

*My mom is telling me that these aren't really forget-me-nots. They're called bluets, apparently.

Monday, April 26, 2010

thoughts on college, one year later: part 2

I just re-read Part 1. I apologize if you made it all the way through to the end of that rambling. Sometimes, though--words just scramble to get out of my head and onto "paper" before I can stop them. That post was somewhat therapeutic for me, I think. I hadn't really let myself face all those feelings since I graduated. And thankfully, some of you could commiserate and let me know I wasn't alone in those feelings.

What would I do without you guys?

Anyways, I did go back to school that night last week. The Women's Center was having their annual "Take Back the Night" rally, which I went to last year, and one of my favorite friends/professors was speaking, and I'd take any excuse to go back and see Steph again, so I sucked up some courage, threw up a word-vomit post for some peace of mind, and went back, all in a hurry, it seemed like.

And you know what? It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.

It was of course very strange, and felt weird to be walking the streets and eating at the student union knowing I wasn't actually a student anymore, but I was okay.
I was okay.

Of course I was okay. It was just as if the campus materialized around me and surrounded me with its academic-ness and big buildings and swarms of students as I drove onto campus. But I was still the same person. I felt like I had a bubble around me, keeping all of me in and keeping any bad vibes or memories out. It was like a revelation.

Am I making any sense? This is hard to articulate.

I'm the same person, but I've grown more in the past five years than I'd realized.

I was able to go back onto that campus sure of myself and who I am without letting a silly university dictate that to me. I was okay.

Perhaps going to this school wasn't the best decision for me. I've come to terms with that, kind of. So now I suppose all I can do is be grateful I have my education and learn from my mistakes.

Which is why, now that I'm entering into the grad school realm, I don't want to make the same mistakes. I don't want to choose my school based on ease and money. I'm taking everything into consideration, and weighing my options carefully. I want to do it right this time. Perhaps that's what I've learned.

In just two weeks, it will have been 365 days since my college graduation. Since my blog header says, "Fearlessly navigating my way through these post-college 365 days," I suppose I'll have to change that. I think I have fearlessly navigated my way through this past year. I successfully moved back home after college (no mean feat), got a position in AmeriCorps, applied to grad schools at the right time, got accepted, and am now working out the next chapter of my life.

Now I just have to put that diploma that's sitting at the back of my bookshelf in a frame or something. Isn't that what it's for?

guess what I did this morning?

Remember these applications?

Yes, they got sent out.

And yes, I got accepted! (Well, to three out of four--still waiting on ONE, months later . . .)

I haven't been quick to share this news here, because unfortunately, financial aid wasn't so nice to me, so I'm still grappling with decision-making. (Which I need to do quickly, before I lose my places, as admissions offices have been so kind to remind me. Multiple times.)

However, there's one particular school that has one particularly great social work program, that I don't intend on missing out on.

So this morning, I mailed in my deposit and intent to enroll.

I might not even be able to afford it yet and I haven't even heard from all my schools, but I did it anyways. I can't lose that place. Despite being across the country on an opposite coast, I want that place.

I'm pretty sure the handwriting on my check is scribbly and shaky because I was kind of freaking out.

I suppose things in life that are good for you can be the hardest, right? (That's what I keep telling myself . . .)

a dapple of my weekend

fallen petalslight installation at the art museumfront yard daffodilcrab apple blossomscrab apple blossomskitty in the flowerswind chime + crab applesrananculusmary at the photo show, waitingphoto show entriestag sale desk

Friday night went exactly as I had hoped, with a local photography show reception thrown in there as well (I had never entered my photos into one before, so it was a new experience . . . I didn't win any awards, but it was exciting all the same).

Saturday resulted in coffee and the first tag sales of the season (with a new desk for my bedroom for FIVE DOLLARS!), a long-ago-promised trip with MH and my cousin to a nearby art museum, and lots of new baking recipes.

Sunday consisted of a kick-my-butt Pilates class and lots of crocheting and movie-watching while the rain fell outside.

Oh, and my grad-school-nervous-ness continued to grow as the weekend wore on, and hasn't let up this morning, either. Hmph.

I hope your weekends were lovely as well! Here's to a quick work week . . . . .

Friday, April 23, 2010

felicitous findings: part 26

1. My Ingrid Michaelson Pandora station--I pretty much listen to this station only, and since I've given so many thumbs up and thumbs down to songs over the months, it knows exactly what I want to hear, all the time. It's magnificent.

2. And did you know Pandora now shows song lyrics and artist bios? Now not only do I feel compelled to listen to every fantastic song, but I must sit there and read it, too!

3. Clients bringing in homemade, authentic, Mexican tamales for us office gals to eat for lunch on a Friday afternoon. Yum.

4. My new $13 handbag that is almost exactly, exquisitely perfect (and yeah--THIRTEEN DOLLARS). (Although, my life quest for the perfectly perfect handbag continues . . .)

5. Gifted Hands. Seriously. Go watch it. And then go read it. (That's where I'm headed next.)


horses in the fields

For some reason, I usually don't have any big plans on Friday evenings. I get out of work a little early, stop at the gym on the way home, and then have some time to myself at home with dinner and a glass of wine while parents and sisters are out at softball practices and meetings.

Sometimes I feel nerdy that I'd rather stay home late at night and drink wine with my mom in yoga pants and watch terrible television and catch up on crocheting and reading rather than make plans and go out and be tired/hungover the next morning.

But you know what?

I kinda like it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

corner view: earth day

marigolds, sprouting
milk cartons and plant food

Marigolds sprouting, planted in recycled milk cartons by second graders in honor of Earth Day.

Baby steps, people, baby steps. With so much cement, the green is welcome.

See Jane for more views of the corners of the world on Earth Day :)

thoughts on college, one year later: part 1

Caution: Stream of consciousness, and therefore run-on sentences, abound below. Just saying.

I have to go back to college tonight.

YEAH. BACK TO COLLEGE TONIGHT. My good old alma mater. (What? I’m old enough to call something my alma mater?)

I think I might vomit. No, literally, I think I might. I haven’t set foot on that campus since the day I stepped into my mom’s minivan in my graduation gown with flowers and diploma in tow almost ONE YEAR AGO.

I mean, that was on May 10th, 2009. That over-used and over-heard intimidating number, two thousand and nine, is such a thing of my past. Before, that date was the culmination of my life as I knew it. Now, it seems years ago. Like that year never even happened, like life just skipped from 2008 to 2010, poof, like that.

Tonight, I’ll have to go back. Past the cow fields and agricultural buildings, past the big white church whose daycare program I applied to once, past the lake-whose-name-I-can-never-remember (was it Mirror or Swan?), past the chemistry building and the church and the Student Center that I spent so much time at (planning for our trip to Haiti and holding bake sales and teaching religious education that one semester so long ago), past the crosswalk where a girl was hit and killed one night sophomore year, past the cemetery where I’d smoke pot in the dead of the night freshman year and where a boy and I took that long walk one afternoon, past my old building and that dining hall and laundry room, past the math building I only ever had one class in and past the residence hall where so many freshman pined to live, past the Visitor’s Center where I was once a Student Ambassador before I realized how much I actually didn't like the place and decided I shouldn't be an ambassador for it, past the parking lot where I hung out with a high school friend in his car that very first night of that very first semester and where Spring Weekend began and where I met one of my boyfriends even, past the theater and past the Field House where we gathered for commencement and felt like it was a different realm of the world, past the Student Union and the library and my Arabic classroom building and the art museum and everything else down that way, and finally I’ll turn right at the bookstore and find a spot in the garage and go in to finally buy a sticker that I bought when I was there but lost to put on my car to represent a school that I actually disliked quite a bit but that I want on my car either way, and then leave and probably drive around for at least 20 minutes searching for a spot and wishing for the days when I didn’t mind looking for a spot because I was a student and felt that I was entitled to one anyways.

Now, I’ll just be driving around as a non-student, one of those people who clog up traffic and aren’t sensitive towards pedestrians because they’re not one at all and who feel like they own the place because it’s Connecticut’s claim to fame and it IS a state university, after all.

Why is this so hard for me?

Is it because I don’t feel any kind of personal connection to the place anymore? Is it because I never really felt like I was a real part of that place?

Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s because I never really felt like I belonged there.

Ask me when I was seventeen, reluctantly applying to colleges only because it was the right thing to do and my mom was on my back about it, ask me what I wanted to do with my life. I, of course, did not know, but I did know one thing: I did not want to go to a large, public university. Six of my seven schools I was applying to were small, Catholic colleges usually located somewhere suburban or rural. This was my safe school. It was my backup, in case I was denied everywhere else.

The thing is, I wasn’t denied everywhere else. I got in. I was waitlisted at my top choice, yes, but other ones, I was accepted to. I had options.

When it all boiled down, though, it came to one thing: money. Money guided my choice. This school happened to be the cheapest option, being a public state school, and also happened to offer me a large amount of financial aid. Which ended up not meaning much, since every year after that it got less and less and now, five years later, I’m still in way more debt than I ever imagined. But I digress. I chose it because of money. My seventeen year old self did not want a large school, or a public school. I even remember Jana asking me one day at one of her family parties, as we got old enough to start thinking about where we’d apply, asking me if I’d ever consider going to a non-Catholic school. I said no. Never. Anything else just wasn’t in my list of choices. Funny how that worked out, though. I chose something (was it really much of a choice?) I wanted nothing to do with. (Now, I did also choose it because it had the major I thought I wanted, but in retrospect, most other schools offered similar programs, and it never really mattered anyways, because I ended up changing my major to something completely different not long after.)

But yeah right am I ever doing that again. Here I was, this young-for-her-age, ridiculously naive, sheltered, formerly-homeschooled freshman girl who knew very little about herself. My self esteem was little to none. And that’s a generous estimation. I jumped on the chance to be best friends with my roommate, simply because she was my roommate, even though in actuality I disliked her quite a bit. I jumped on the chance to be best friends with my neighbors, too, even though I liked them even less. The ones who may have offered any semblance of a real friendship at the time I judged too quickly and immediately dismissed, getting sucked into the opinions of my friends I had already made. Whom I disliked, remember. But they were friends, and I had them, and even if they weren’t great, they filled a newfound void in my life at the time and I gave them my all.

Fast forward two years and those same friends dropped me by the wayside and didn't look back. All along I was realizing they weren’t much of friends, but by then I had already invested so much in them and every other freshman who we started with that summer of 2005 had already made other friends and were seemingly locked in with them, too, and I figured no one would want to add some girl to their repertoire just because she was too desperate that first semester and made the wrong choices. So I stuck with them. To my detriment, come junior year, as I’d later learn.

Boys were all wrong, too. I don’t think there are many freshman boys, if any, who don’t come to college obsessed with their newfound freedom, both sexual and otherwise, looking to see how many girls they can seduce in order to bring back a more impressive number to their friends back home, who are also toying with their new lifestyles. I think I found just about every one of those boys available to me, during college. This is not to say that I slept with every boy I met--no, not even close to that, by any means, but worse: I put my trust in these seemingly nice boys who would entice me to watch movies in their smelly dorm rooms and take shots with me because all the other girls were, too, didn't I see? and then nonchalantly ask for my statistic notes at the end of the night because they were too hung over to get to class that morning and of course I’d do it, because I was really nice and not like all the other girls, wasn't I? But these were the same boys who wouldn’t dream of inviting me to the dining hall on sober week nights or sitting next to me the few times they actually showed up for class or even bothering to ask what was my major, anyways?

I like to think I learned my lesson now, though. Of course I have. In fact, I know I have. And in more ways than just knowing which types of boys to run wildly away from, too. be continued...


blueberry almond bars
sunday's blueberry almond bars, that have naught to do with this post


when the weather is sunny and I wake up to the sounds of birds chirping and greenhouse trucks rumbling by and I step outside into the chilly air beneath the crab apple trees and hear the steady hum of bumble bees overhead and sneeze and sneeze and sneeze because the sun is so bright,

I just don't want to put on my sunglasses.

They're adorable and from an outdoor flea market and are the best pair I've ever owned and greatly help in driving to work on the highway when the visor doesn't reach to block out the sun and the glare is extraordinary,

but sometimes I'd rather just see the world as it is and take the sun for what it's worth and risk the squinting and worry about wrinkles in my forehead some other time.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

macro, and forgetfulness



Lots of times I have so many ideas of things I want to blog about that I'll save them as drafts so I don't forget them.

This morning, as I was driving to work, I remembered something that I had been thinking of writing about for awhile now and of course hadn't saved, and vowed that those would be the words to accompany these photos this morning.

Alas, I'm here at work, the photos are up, and I've forgotten any inkling of what I was going to say. Sigh.

Monday, April 19, 2010


easter treepolishafternoon lightbirdie-gazing

Last night I had a dream that I went into the woods and the snow had, in fact, not melted yet. Despite the few 80-degree days we had and the month being April, snow was still tucked in beneath bushes and mixed in with leaves and fallen logs. I couldn't comprehend the fact that outside the woods, in my backyard and on the street and in the budding trees, it was bright and warm and springtime, but down in those dark cold woods, there was still that snow that had yet to disappear.

I found myself wondering if it ever disappeared, if it melted down into the dirt once July came and the weather was constantly warm, or if it always stayed there in those dark cold woods and I had never bothered to notice.

I think the real point must be that I wandered into the woods and noticed the snow at all, right?

(I've been contemplating dreaming often lately. Ever since I can remember, I've had vivid night dreams that I can remember for weeks to come. Just getting back into bed the next night, in the same place in the same position, recalls them freshly to mind. I can still remember particular dreams that I had when I was in elementary school. Sometimes they contain premonitions, even. I'll often wake up and be so convinced they were real, I'll have to consciously think about who and where I am. Perhaps I should be recording these dreams, and attempting to analyze them, I've decided. I'm not sure that dreams are completely arbitrary, do you think?)

Above photos are from two weekends ago, which I meant to put into an "A Dapple of My Weekend" post, which I failed to post at the proper time because I went on a subconscious posting strike. Better than late never though, right?

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I feel what I cannot write.

I yearn to express what I cannot say.

I began blogging to hold myself accountable for my life. To keep details in mind, to remember to take pictures, to properly process thoughts and emotions. I'm afraid I'm not very successful at doing so otherwise.

This blog functions as a tool to remind myself that being me is not a bad thing. That it's okay. That feeling my feelings and thinking my thoughts is just as legitimate as anyone else doing the same thing, whether in blog form or otherwise.

It was a good realization, for awhile. Until I became confused about what to share here. This isn't a diary. This isn't a floral-bound book tucked under my mattress for my deepest, darkest secrets to abound. This is a very public journal.

So for months now, questions have swirled through my head, like, Do I remain positive, and positive only? Do I fake happiness until I make happiness? Or do I share negativity and heartache, too? But is it unfair to my readers to whine and complain and share greivances? (After all, I DO have a tag category called "Greivances," and it's quite full, which I often kick myself for.) I always wonder these things. Is it better to blog about happy things, when you're not feeling happy, for the sake of trying to force yourself to feel happy? Or is it better to let it all hang out, and show no discrimination, and blog about ALL the truths of life, in order to be the most truthful?

I know this is a common predicament for bloggers. But I have to remind myself--I started this blog for me. And I plan on writing for me, too. It's just hard to remember, sometimes. And it's hard to articulate, a lot of times.

Which often results in blog absences for periods of time. Which makes me feel like I'm not being honest, with myself or with my readers. I don't want to only post when I'm happy. I want to post all the time. Because if I made this blog to hold myself accountable and help me process my thoughts and emotions, it doesn't really work to only use it at high points of life, does it? I want to look back on this and remember everything, everything I was going through at this point in my life. The very first time I was confused about this, I went two whole weeks without blogging. But back then, I promised myself I wouldn't do it again. I went those two weeks, which happened to be two very tumultuous weeks of my life, without properly processing what was going on.

I hated doing that again.

So I'm vowing to blog for me. To blog about what makes me happy. And to blog about what makes me nervous or sad or anxious or scared, too. Luckily, there are other bloggers out there who help me with these decisions.

I don't feel like I'm being very articulate here and I fear I'm beginning to not make any sense, so I'll stop here. Hopefully this is something you can relate to, too.

Should blogging be this difficult?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

this severe lack of blog posting brought to you by:

1. PMS

2. Grad school anxiety

3. Grad school excitement

4. PMS

5. Unrequited like (not to be confused with love, just yet)

6. Work busy-ness

7. Preparing for huge life transitions

7. Did I mention PMS? Guh.

Monday, April 12, 2010



I can't come to reality right now.

I'm having trouble showing up for life at the moment.

It's just a bit much to handle just now.

If you'd like to leave a message, I'll get back to you as soon as I'm able.

And coherent.

And calm.

And possessing clarity.

Thank you.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

a little bit familiar

I used to love Georgia Douglas Johnson's poems and short stories. I haven't the slightest idea why I haven't read her in so long. Her anthology sits at the end of my bed, depressingly dusty.

But coming across this poem, Calling Dreams, served as a tiny reminder (and perhaps a big, huge, God-sent sign?) that I should, indeed, continue to read her work.

The right to make my dreams come true
I ask, nay, I demand of life,
Nor shall fate's deadly contraband
Impede my steps, nor countermand.

Too long my heart against the ground
Has beat the dusty years around,
And now, at length, I rise, I wake!
And stride into the morning break!

Sounds a little bit familiar, to me. This IS a favorite poem of mine, so maybe it was a subconscious effort, but I'd like to think Georgia and I are just on the same wavelength (posthumously, of course).

Dare I say I wish to be back in college, where I'm forced to read such literature? Sigh.

daffodils in the morning


Early this morning (which I suppose wasn't really that early since the sun was clearly up, but for me was kind of early), I decided that too many springtimes had gone unphotographed in my life, so I hopped on a bicycle with my camera in a backpack. I rode down to the greenhouse at the end of my street, where hundreds of bright yellow daffodils line the entranceway. I'm pretty sure they were planted in full bloom, since they just appeared there one day, which makes me appreciate them less than if they had been planted by seed, but all the same--they're gorgeous.

And they made a fantastic pick-me-up start to my morning.


I've been thinking a lot lately about where I live.

Earlier this week at work, a sixth-grader started talking to me about street violence (he's a very mature sixth-grader). He explained that his dad had recently been assaulted on the street, and was going to buy a gun to defend himself. When he got older, he said he was going to buy a gun, too. He gets nervous when he walks home from school with his younger sisters, afraid someone will be following him. He said he needs a gun to defend them, even if just to wave it around and scare off any attackers. His family has "swords" in their home, to thwart intruders, he told me. Violence is a good thing, he continued, if it can teach kids how to protect themselves on the street.

And then he asked me, "Miss, I know you don't like violence. But what would you do if someone was trying to assault you?"

I was at a loss for words. I told him I honestly didn't know what I would do.

Then he asked, "But Miss, you don't live in the city, do you?" I shook my head slowly. "You must live in the countryside," he said, sure of himself. "There are probably farms and animals around where you live." All I could do was agree, with a guilty feeling in my stomach about this truth of my life.

I do live in the countryside. I do live near farms. I haven't the slightest idea what I'd do if someone tried to attack me, and it's definitely not something I contemplated in sixth grade, either.

The disparities that exist in our world--they continue to shock me, even now.