Tuesday, April 19, 2011

campus tour

With a college friend back in town, we took a trip to the place we met. We roamed the hallways, the library, the gym. It all came flooding back to us: memories of our early adulthood. The looks of some things changed (very few, but a few), but the smells all remained the same. I smelled leaving class early in the hallway. I smelled flirting in the common lounge. I smelled ambition in the old gym equipment.

We laughed over the memories we had there, and mourned our former selves. I'm not sure if it was the person I was then, or the loss of my innocence that I mourned. I remembered when every sin was to a lesser degree: sex was making out, drugs was drinking, assault was insults. I was more pure--not of heart, but of mind. I was still optimistic and hopeful. I wasn't yet hardened by the world. No one had broken my heart or my spirit. I hadn't let anyone yet.

On Glee, Emma says, "At what age are you able to look back on your life with nothing but regret? Is 30 too young?" I know people say they have no regrets in life, because every decision they've made has made them who they are today. But I do have some regrets, because I know I could be someone better than who I am today. I regret sleeping with certain people. I regret not chasing a career I'm passionate about. I regret my ambition slipping and letting my writing just sit on the shelf as an empty dream.

Also on Glee, Holly says, "there are ramifications (for your actions) because it makes you comfortable with insensitivity." The person I was back in my first couple years of college was in no ways perfect, but she also wasn't yet comfortable with insensitivity.

We left our old school, feeling old and empty. Because we knew that once you lost that innocence, you can never get it back. But although you can't reclaim your innocence, you can always become a better person. And maybe my regrets are the best way to tell me how to do that.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

pages

Maybe I'd prefer movies if...

1. The same actors didn't play different characters. When I read a book, I imagine this character as unique. But then when the book becomes a movie, they have Matthew McConaughey play the character, and I'll I can see now is his shirtless body in a role that definitely requires a shirt. I typecast every actor where they should really only play themselves.

Plus, my imagined characters never look as bad as some of their screenplay counterparts. Drew Barrymore can stop ruining stories for me any time now. I'm all about the aesthetically pleasing. Luckily for Joan Cusack, I don't rule the world.

2. More of them narrated. Too much dialogue, not enough thoughts. I love the few movies with narration. If I ever write this book, it will be mostly thoughts, so I'm sure it won't sell. But my position is, if you want dialogue, watch a sitcom. I read for those pensive thoughts between the snappy conversations.

3. They didn't feel the same because the same writers and producers are mulching all these different stories into their same plot: guy meets girl, they bicker, but finally realize they want each other, trouble occurs or secret is revealed and one leaves, the other catches them right before it's too late and they end up together anyway.

4. I could read from so far away.

5. They didn't all have happy endings.

But until then, I prefer books.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

drive-thru breakfast

On the weekends, Steve and I make a big breakfast and eat it together. Breakfast burritos, pancakes, omelettes, something like that. It's one of the cutesy couple things we do together: you know, one of those things that people not in a couple say, "awww" to out of complete nausea.

But on days when we're out of a key ingredient -like sausage- and we are up before 10:30, I go to Starbucks for a milkshake frappuccino and then McDonald's for sausage mcmuffins. The woman who handed me my bag of food said the oddest thing. She said, "come again."

If there's one place in the entire world that doesn't need to worry whether their customers will become repeats, it's McDonald's. Everyone who goes to McDonald's once goes again, save the people on death row. Even the new vegetarians and vegans relapse at some point and where do you think they run to first? That's right, McDonald's.

It isn't like I woke up yesterday and said, "what is that place with those golden arches I see on every other corner? Maybe I'll try that joint out." We all know what McDonald's is and go when we're drunk or hungover or broke or pregnant. Or on a road trip or out of groceries or craving beef. And everyone is one of these at some point again. Everyone returns to McDonald's. Even if it's just to return the recalled cadmium-tainted drinking glasses. McDonald's has a way to get everyone to come back.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

silent rain

There are attributes of myself I hate. There are personality traits I wish I didn't have. But the wish isn't quite strong enough for me to really focus on changing it. I've become pretty set in my ways, which is dangerous at my young age.

But maybe if it's out there floating in cyberspace, I will acknowledge that the want to change was there, however weak and fragile.

I hate that I'm not more tactful.
I hate that my heart is always worn on my sleeve.
I hate that my every thought is verbalized.
I hate how all my emotions and thoughts being public makes me look so stupid and emotional and unpoised, however true those assumptions are.

I hate that my life is an open book, rather than a locked diary.

I hate that I can not keep my own secrets.

Silence is the secret to sanity.
~Astrid Alauda

Saturday, April 2, 2011

pursuit of happiness

In loving somebody, you realize your own shortcomings. And in loving that person, you want to become someone better for them.

You become a better person by curtailing urges, impulses, and addictions with self-control. By trading in your selfish "it's all about me" mentality for one that includes the word "us." That means thinking beyond yourself and immediate gratification.

At some point, we realize our vices are hollow pursuits, and instead spend our time and energy on those pursuits with purpose - like earning an honest living to support our families, pursuing the hobbies that balance us out and make us happy.

It is a sacrifice: it requires you to say "no" to what you've been saying "yes" to: whether it be drinking, drugs, gambling, pornography - whatever your weakness is. It requires losing touch with friends that encourage those empty pursuits.

But although it's not easy, soon enough, you will find joy in other pleasures. And these ones won't be empty.