Saturday, December 31, 2011

Toodles, 2011

I figure I could jump on the bandwagon and do a detailed breakdown of 2011, but I don't have pictures or the energy to link to a bunch of my old posts. Clearly, 2011 was the year of the blogging breakdown - blog posts decreased significantly, and became a lot more whiny. So sorry about that!

Well, glimpsing back at this year, it's been a loooong one. I can look back and off the top of my head recall these good moments:

taking 24 credits Spring Term (and kicking butt in each class
getting closer to English majors (who I desperately miss!
being offered an internship out of what I had expected to be my least favorite summer class
becoming very self confident and happy for the first six months of the year
turning 20 (and working 2 jobs on my birthday)
celebrating two years at my incredible job (oh, and the dollar per hour pay raise in June followed by a 24 cent raise in December)
My roommate moving in on the first day of February
having a super low key Thanksgiving and Christmas for once
Harry Potter parties!
The final harry potter movie premiere
Attending three cousins' weddings this summer
The birth of two cousins, announcement of another three on the way
The birth of my beautiful niece in February, her parents' engagement on Christmas

As well as these low points:

Three people close to me being diagnosed with cancer
People from my childhood passing away
Being hurt by two people I used to care about
Fall term being the worst in my college career thus far
Parents being hospitalized for a) a heart attack and b)two asthma attacks
Losing myself in self doubt and self deprecation for six months

This has been a very topsy-turvy year, full of highs and lows. Here's hoping that 2012 is less eventful, or at least filled with more highs than lows. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cyber bullies.

I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately. even more so with recent events, but those aren't really worth repeating.

Cyber bullies are just plain mean. They are worse than the playground bullies who steal lunch money because they can. They can hide behind their screens and not worry about the consequences because they never get to see their victim's reaction. They are safe at home, tucked away with their computers, aided by anonymity that comes with this business called the Internet.

Cyber bullies are cruel. People seem to think it's okay to attack people if they leave out the victim's name (which, by the way, doesn't fool anyone. Anyone who knows you knows exactly who you are referring to.) or okay to poke fun because what's so harmless about a few words, right? 

Tell that to the parents of Megan Meier. 

Megan was only three weeks shy of her 14th birthday when she committed suicide. She had been bullied by a guy she thought was cute. Turns out, the "cute guy" was the parents of one of Megan's old friends who were mad that Megan had ended the friendship. Yes, adults were telling a thirteen year old girl that "Everybody in O’Fallon knows how you are. You are a bad person and everybody hates you. Have a shitty rest of your life. The world would be a better place without you." (found here)

This is beyond wrong. 

People are using their words to victimize innocent people. Finally, the media is starting to pay attention and efforts are being made to draw attention to this issue. ABC Family made a movie called "Cyberbu//y" (or Cyberbully, depending on where it's written) starring Kay Panabaker and Emily Osment. While it is an ABC Family movie, and therefore fairly cheesy, it's got a very clear point. It's a good movie, and I think it should be shown in every 5th through 12th grade classroom in the country. This generation doesn't realize that there are consequences behind their words. If it's typed instead of yelled, words instead of fists, we tend to brush it off as harmless. We don't see the pain it causes directly in front of us, so it's totally okay, right?

This generation could not be more wrong.

I will admit that I am not perfect. I have made the mistake in the past of not thinking before posting. I have been less than pleasant online, and I am ashamed of it. 

I have also been the victim of this offense. I was recently attacked online (my name was not mentioned, but it was made very clear who they were referring to) and at first, I laughed it off. I thought it was funny that this person felt the need to insult me. However, as the night went on, I felt myself getting angry ("who the hell is she to say these things?") and then hurt ("why did she say that? what did I do?"), ending up in tears and sobbing to my roommate. I am still stung and shocked by what was said. I don't think I will ever understand the need to harshly attack someone down to their core. I can never comprehend the out and out viciousness necessary to be that cold-hearted and mean. I mean, my friends and I tease each other, but we are never seriously trying to harm anyone. 

So, let's work on passing this message around. Let's join together and stop this epidemic of cruelty. No one should ever have to feel hurt so badly that ending their life is easier than living it. Write your congressperson asking about your state's policy on cyberbullying. Tell a friend. Spread the news about this epidemic. Maybe, just maybe, if we all pull together, we can end this vicious cycle and all become better human beings because of it. Maybe someday we will compliment each other instead of tearing each other down.

Maybe, someday, the world will be a nice place.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Past, present, future...

As I lay in what used to be my bed in a room that used to be my sister's, it's hard to think of anything but the past.

I tiptoed into my old room tonight. I say tiptoe because it is a disaster zone in more ways than one. Apparently it is currently the storage room for all of my dad's referee gear. my old bed, covered in black and white stripes. stuff is everywhere, a mix of my old memories and my dad's new hobby. Such a strange contrast.

This place no longer feels like home. It hasn't in a very, very long time. It's strange - I feel as though I'm visiting a long lost friend, someone I used to know but I can't seem to remember very many details about anymore.

I can almost detach my self entirely from this place. That is, until I spot it.

The one reminder I have of him. The glaring reminder of the girl I once was - clingy, emotional, unstable. He gave me that as a spur of the moment gift, a simple surprise when he returned from a family vacation. So childlike, now all I see is how he saw me. I was just a warm body to him. I was someone to care for him while he longed for her. I was so naive, so childlike in my belief that he really did want me for me. That maybe this isn't some temporary high school thing. Maybe this time it would last.

He made a fool out of me. I will always wish I had listened to my sister, my friends, when they warned me. All they wanted to do was protect me, and I blew them off. Now, there is a two foot, fuzzy, bright yellow duck reminding me of my mistake.

It strikes me as funny now. I've lost the necklaces, the earrings, the little trinkets I had collected from him and the others. I'm sure they're here somewhere, and I have one I really, really wish I could find (the one before him was a kind boy, a good one, who I foolishly let go) but the valuable items have vanished, yet this ridiculous, $10 stuffed animal remains to haunt me. It has the cheesy exaggerated eyelashes, the comical big eyes, that remind me over and over of my childlike ideas. Somehow, though, I won't allow my parents to get rid of it. That damn duck reminds me of how far I've come, and just how much I could have lost.

I turned into the innocent blithering idiot again, five years later. Luckily the only remainder of that moment is the lingering scars on my pride. Maybe someday I can get rid of the duck, but for now, it has to keep me tethered to my past so that my present and future self won't repeat history.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's a funny thing...

So, here's a little story for y'all.

Remember the situation I mentioned before? The ego-crushing one?

Well, I figure if y'all are still reading, you deserve an update:

I haven't talked to either one of the other people involved in over a month now. It's not a concious choice, it just kinda happened this way. I miss them, sure, but I don't necessarily need them in my life anymore. Clearly, we weren't exactly the greatest situation ever to occur, and I really enjoy life without stress, so I think for now it's best that we're staying distant. I hear they're going strong, and good for them. We all need someone to anchor us in this whirly twirly world, and they both can help each other in ways I could never have.

I re-read his blog today, just killing time at work, when I realized something. When him and I were talking, we always joked about him making me a cheesecake. I have grown to love cheesecake - I hated it as a child, but now I crave it on occasion. He apparently makes cheesecake - I've never had any of his, but hey if the man can bake heaven I'm always willing to try. He once told me he was working on a few new recipes - a cheesecake bread and cheesecake cookies. Now, I am a carb lover. Hand me a slice of wheat bread with butter and I'm a happy girl. Cheesecake bread? Hell yes please!

So here's the funny part about the cheesecake. Ever since he stopped talking to me, I haven't craved it at all. not once. I mean, I had some at Thanksgiving, but I haven't had the "I have to drive to Safeway at midnight because I want cheesecake RIGHT NOW" feeling. It's strange, how you associate certain feelings and/or foods to certain people.

So there's the update on the situation, and now an update on me:

I'm happy. It's weird, I know. I shouldn't be, considering I think I just failed two finals, and I still have a final, a paper, a website, and a proposal to finish, not to mention all of the family scares that have been pummeling me all term, but I actually am.

I don't need a man right now. I am staying with my double degree as-is, but am not going to Spain next summer - I just cannot afford it, and I would rather go and experience Spain as a vacation rather than studying the whole time I'm there. My Spanish is not up to par to live in Spain yet.

Next summer, I'll stay in town and enjoy a summer free of class. I will get to settle in and explore the town, and visit friends.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's that time of year...

Hello, December!!!

I have never been this stoked to see this wonderful twelfth month. I have no idea why I'm so happy to see it, but man, oh man, am I happy!

Maybe because my roommate will finally allow me to bust out the Christmas movies, music, and decorations. (She's  firm believer in waiting til December, while I'm more of the day after Thanksgiving type...) Maybe it's due to the fact that in 6 days I will finally be DONE with this terrible, terrible term. Either way, I'm practically giddy when I'm not worrying about two finals tomorrow, a final paper, a final proposal, and one last final exam on Wednesday..... so actually I'm not really giddy ever. except right now.

Best part of this month? Today. I love today. Today, I was told the best news I have heard in awhile - I get my braces off in January!!!!!!!!!! Yes, the excessive exclamation marks are necessary. This is my second round of metal mouth (thanks, twelve year molars. jerks.) and I am so ready to be done! The stupid sore lips, the mind numbing tooth pain..... all I can say is halle-freakin-lluia! On January 16, I will be able to eat corn on the cob, caramel, whole apples...... oh my mouth is already watering. Of course, I'll have nerdy retainers for awhile, but no more embarrasing food stuck in metal moments! No more rubber bands manipulating my jaw! No more having to pick what color! Well.... actually I didn't pick them this time around. I made the hygenist do it every time - I've had some awesome color combinations, let me tell you. For my final six weeks of metal, I am rocking a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme thanks to the new girl - green chain across the top, an awesome pink across the bottom. I've had blue several times, a teal and pink combo, a nice pale lavender, and I can't even remember what all they've done to me. I made friends with one hygenist -Val. She got her braces on around the same time as me, and she's been there every single time I've gone in. I love her - she's hilarious, and she actually lives in the same town as my old rival high school. She is jealous that I'm done with these bad boys already - I got them on the day before Thanksgiving 2010 :)

You know what I'm thinking?

No more braces = complete makeover......possibly?

Maybe I'll chat with my hair lady - highlights or lowlights? New 'do? (Probably not the new 'do, since my current one works sooooo well with my hair. Trust me, it's taken me 20 years to find something that works up or down!)

Maybe I'll reward myself with new clothes. or shoes. or a book. or something electronic. who knows?

This is one happy girl right now. I'm almost done with the term from hell so get ready for more posting! I'm also done with drama. Blech. We'll see how long that lasts - drama finds me, I swear. I have no idea how, but it does. yucky.

So, until next week, I'll leave you with one of my favorite tunes of the season: