Friday, June 29, 2012

Why I'm Okay Being Single

It never fails that within a given week someone seemingly has to ask me, "So... do you have a boyfriend?", "So who's the lucky man?" or something along that lines. It doesn't matter if we've been friends for ages and just haven't seen each other in a while, or you've just met me a few months, days or hours ago. It somehow always creeps up. And when I say, "No... No one..." with a sweet smile on my face, the answer is always a variation of three things:

1. "Don't worry, your own time will come soon." (Really? I wasn't worried until you said that, now I'm worried that something is the matter since "my time" hasn't come yet. Thanks.)

2. "Oh, why are you being picky? Or are you just waiting until you're sure? (Actually, no one is even remotely interested in me. Or at least no one I'm aware of. Thanks for reminding me of that fact.)

3. "We've got to find someone for you!" or as one of my friends puts it, "You need to get chose!" (This is probably the best response. While it does make me think, "Obviously no one currently wants to "choose" me," it mostly makes me feel like I am an awesome, desireable woman... and boys are just blind.)

But regardless of the response, they all seem to say one thing: That being single isn't "good enough." That I must want more in life. And without a tall, dark and handsome man to marry and bear children for, I am somehow incomplete. Or unhappy. Which, I'd like to point out, I am not.

This doesn't mean I don't want a boyfriend or a husband. It just means that I've learned the art of contentment. Or at this article put it, I'm waiting actively. Being single right now means I get to pursue things that are important to me. I also get to work on myself and be the person I want to be, so if and when Mr. "Right" (which this article claims there is no such things as) comes, I'm ready.

Let's face it. I'm not terrible domestic. And while I don't think a woman needs to be. I kind of want to be for my family (with his helping hand, of course). I'd like to know how to hem pants, sew on buttons and fix tear. I'd like to be able to create family dinners we can share around the table. I'd like to have a home that while it may look lived in, doesn't look like a war-zone.

I'd also like to be better at the piano (I imagine us gathered around having sing-a-longs... or at least gathering around it during Christmas time and singing some carols). And maybe even learn the guitar. I'd like to get down a writing routine I can be proud of (cause I will not compromise and let that dream die). I'd like to have a clear idea of my dreams and where I'd want life to lead me.

I'd like to actually use and stick to a budget and have all of my debt paid off (minus the student loans... that will probably take 15-30 years unless I become rich). And honestly, I'd like to get a handle on my own emotional baggage and feel 100% worth it (which most days, I do. But sometimes, in my head, I hear one of my cousins saying, "Man, Bunmi... whoever marries you must really love you.") and not beat myself over the head for past mistakes and stumbles (relationship and non-relationship related).

Most importantly, I want to be better at putting God first. And living my life for His glory and not my own. It's easy to get thrown into the church environment where you go to church "looking for a man." (I actually HATE the idea of singles groups and avoid churches with them. What? So singles don't want to be friends with married people?) And yes, I do plan on marrying a Christian. But that doesn't mean I have to find him at church.

I guess... I know I'm flawed. And I know he'll be flawed. So what's more important to me is that we're both surrendering our flawed selves to the One above and letting him guide us. Cause ultimately, no matter how cute I think you are. Or how nice you are to me. Or how much you make me laugh. Whatever chemistry between us isn't going to matter if we can't put God first. And by putting God first, it'll help me love whoever I'm supposed to love completely. Even if he leaves his dirty laundry on the floor.

I've more or less been single for six years. And in that time, there was a potential relationship. And a part of me feels like I (maybe, we) sacrificed that potential relationship because I was so bent on "guarding my heart." Which at the time might have seemed like a good idea. But now (and this article agrees with me) I think it might have been a pretty silly idea. For one, nothing is a guarantee. And how do you have an authentic relationship with anyone if you're guarded and have walls up? And more importantly, how are you putting God first in doing that? If God is first in my life, I shouldn't be so concerned about getting hurt. He's got my back. And if I'm focused in living out His will for my life, "all things will work out for the good..."

And now I think it could have been a great relationship. In fact, I still do. But that's besides the point.

The point is this: Yes, there are some days I envy my newly-wedded friends. Yes, there are some days that I wish that "he" would just show up already. But most days, and even on those other days, I am perfectly content in my singleness. I've got my priorities, and dating/marriage isn't at the top of that list. God is. Plus, I get to be selfish and just worry about me :-)

And maybe one day, I'll meet a guy who would do something like this for me, hehe:

The proof that we are soulmates from Emanuele Colombo on Vimeo.

(P.S. If you go to any of the links, you'll notice they mostly all come from RELEVANT magazine. I fell upon one of their articles and then just kept reading through the night (good thing I don't have work right now! Haha). It's a good magazine. You should check it out.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Beauty and the Beat"

One of my high school BFFs is a GENIUS. As you know from previous posts, Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies. Todrick made a parody of the opening number. Watch it. Be amazed. And laugh your butt off.

I did.


Besides Todrick's many costume changes, there are just so many great one-liners! I think one of my favorite lines is the "Look... isn't this a hot mess. Who would name their first child Blu Ivy?" Hehe.

P.S. I know it's like 6 months early, but if you're looking for a new Christmas album to buy. You should check out Tod's :)

Dream Libraries

I've yet to jump on the Pintrest bandwagon, but my cousin sent me a link to a Pintrest page that I am in LOVE with. As people who know me, and anyone who has followed this blog long enough, know... I am a big reader. I own a lot of books and have the "bad" habit of constantly buying more. I'm currently out of shelf space in my apartment, and half (maybe more) of the books I own are at school.

One day, when I build my dream home (or renovate whatever home I end up in), having a library will be essential. Or at least having a place to put all of my books (with room for growth) is essential.

Here are some of my favorite ideas from Pintrest:

Great use of space! If I have stairs in my dream home, this is totally happening!

One day I hope to have a little "Writer's Nook" in my house. Something like this would be perfect.
And again, great use of space!

I dream of having a bay window with a window seat that I curl up with a good book in.
On a sunny day, or even when it's raining.
Or at night, with the moonlight streaming in...

Closet transformed into a home library
"With floor to ceiling shelving and a couple of lamps, an extra closet or alcove becomes a library."
(Real Simple)

Another staircase idea... if I have a cellar or basement.

These last two are whimsical and probably would have no place in a home. But they are so fun, I had to add them!

Reading Wheel

In love! I guess it could go in the actual library
... if I ever make millions and have a big enough house for one.
Or I can save it for when I open up my own bookshop in retirement!


What can I say... I LOVE to read!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Scary World of Budgeting

I have never kept a budget.

Appalling, I know. Numbers just stress me out. I've always liked words better. I mean, I can't even remember a 10-digit phone number. It took me years to memorize my social security number. One of my exes was always irritated that I wanted directions to include exit names and not the exit numbers (still do, by the way).

And let's not even talk about sticking to the budget. I'm not very good at coloring within the lines (figuratively; I actually am slightly OCD about doing that literally). I've planned to only spend X amount of money on something and then completely go crazy once I start spending. I always find a reason to spend just a little bit more. And not necessarily on me (although, when it comes to books, it's always one me). I just see things that I think people in my life would like and make the purchase. This definitely comes back to bite me on the butt later.

For the 10 months, I haven't thought much about how much I spend. I had a roommate, we split the bills, and so I kind of hand quite a bit of "extra" to throw around, I suppose. Now I'm wishing I saved more. Because what I did save I just spent on my European tour (which was totally worth it).

Now it's back to me. And living alone in Houston is kind of expensive. I've been looking up apartments and rent for 1 bedrooms within the loop are excessive. It's like Houston thinks it's the New York City of Texas (which it isn't. If anything, Austin or Dallas should get that title). Granted there are cheaper places... but I'm struggling to find one that's cheap and nice. I'm what my friends would call slightly bourgoius. I have high standards. Standards that are apparently higher than my bank account.

So living alone again is definitely taking me down a notch. I already don't have cable. And internet alone seems like it's costing a small fortune!

So with the help of one of my accounting buddies, I've just created a budget. And the plan is that all decisions made will adhere to this budget. Including where I end up moving to...

Here's hoping I can survive and stick to it!

Right now, I really do feel like I'm trying to shove pieces of a puzzle together.
And while, I generally like puzzles, they aren't easy.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Me Before You

It's half past 3. Morning, not afternoon.  And I've just finished reading "Me Before You" by JoJo Moyes.

It was one of the books I purchased in London. (You might think it silly, but my very first purchases, besides train tickets, were books. Even though I had my Kindle and I had brought a few real books, too. My second was a cute satchel to put the books in... Ha!) I began reading it this morning, and could barely put it down. Of course, I did to take care of my growing pile of laundry and to spend a few hours with friends after a clothes swap (my first! But more on that later). I got home around 11pm, and just couldn't stop reading this book.
You might remember how I felt about "Thanks for the Memories" or "Sweet Love"... this was better.

I can't really tell you what the book is about. To do so would give it all away. The blurb on the back did it very little justice... I thought I'd be a silly bit of chick-lit (which I love, so no problems there), but it was so much more. In fact, I can't even classify it as chick-lit. Although, there is a twenty-something year old, and there is a bit of romance.

I laughed. I cried. Actually, I'm still a bit weepy.

And while there are some things in the book that might make some people mad, uncomfortable, troubled, oppositional... it reminded me that very little, in fact almost nothing in this life is black and white. In life we often find ourselves standing in different shades of grey (or gray; there actually is a difference between the two on the color spectrum) based on the choices we make. But ultimately, that's the thing... they are our choices. And we can't always expect those around us, the people we love and care for, to always stand in the exact same shade.

All I can say is that you really should read it. Really. If i could, I'd make you promise that you would.

And now I'm going to try to stop crying and go to sleep.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Eiffel Up, Effiel Down

Paris was not a part of the original plan.

The original plan was simply London. Arrive a week before the wedding, spend time with the groom, meet the bride, get in some good family bonding time. Cheer them on their special day and then back to the States!

But then my friends got whiff of my plans to jet to London and insisted they come along. And since one of them happens to be a French teacher, who just happens to take a group of teens every Spring break, but hasn't really gone kid-free in a while (if ever), Paris of course got added to the list.

One thing Becky (the French teacher friend) insisted we do in Paris is climb the Eiffel Tower. She had never done it. I didn't tell her this, but that fact appalled me considering how many times she's been. Wouldn't the Eiffel Tower have been a mandatory stop on a school-related trip? Apparently not.

So, on our second full day in Paris, we took the subway down to the Eiffel Tower and began our quest. It was bright, it was sunny. It really was the perfect day.

The day really couldn't have been more perfect
When we got to the tower, it was bustling with people. There was a long line stretching out from underneath the tower, starting from its southeast leg. It was the line for the elevator ride up. Becky balked. "I'm not waiting in line forever," she said. But I was determined to go, so I suggested we try the stairs. Only one stairwell line was open--the one on the southwest leg--and it was considerably shorter. So we got in line and began patiently inching forward to get our tickets.

It actually went really quickly. Especially since about 5 minutes after we got in line, the sunny skies vanish and thunderclouds came rolling in. It didn't exactly begin pouring, but the wind was strong and the tower itself offered absolutely no covering, so we were getting quite damp. Others ran out of line, pushing us closer to the front, but it was still slow going. The whole time we stood shivering and rolling our eyes at the screaming girls running around the pavement, Becky kept saying, "I'm not climbing this thing in the rain. I'm not doing it." I convinced her to let us at least get to the front of the line. We can always buy our tickets and come back later, right?

The lady in front of us had a slightly different perspective. "In 20 minutes, the rain will be completely gone. And in 20 minutes we'll be in the front of the line. So don't worry." Her husband and kids scoffed at her. I began praying she'd be right. And just when we got to the front of the line and began to pay for our tickets. The rain stopped. The sun came back out. It was perfect.

The climb itself felt like torture. It's a lot of stairs. Our tickets would let us climb up to the second stage and then from there we could take the elevator to the top. I don't think we made it halfway up half the way to stage one when we both had to stop to rest our burning thighs and catch our breath. It didn't help that although the sky had stopped raining, the tower was still dripping on us. Nor did it help that the higher we got, the more the fierce French wind made our already cold bodies even colder. We scowled at the little kids who ran by boasting, "I'm not even tired!" in their little French accents. And I'm pretty sure I looked very hateful at the group of Asians (who were considerably older than us) that passed by us looking not even remotely out of breath. But eventually... we made it to Stage 1.

I wanted to curse Effiel as I climbed.
I didn't. But I did stomp on his face :)
This is how we both felt.
And we still had a stage and a half to go!

We finally made it! If you look to the side of the stairs... 328 stairs!
We spent some time on Stage 1 walking around a bit on the West and Northern sides. There's a little Eiffle Tower museum for kids along the southern and eastern sides, but I think we both knew that if we stopped too long in our journey up, we may have not made it. So after a few pictures... we continued to Stage 2.

If we went to the museum, this would have been our tour guide.
Such a little cutie!
I forgot to take a picture of the stairs when we got the Stage 2. I was too tired. Really. I think I registered it being around 660 or 665. I tried to look it up (and was told 674), but it turns out the number of stairs is different depending on what leg you climb, so I'm not sure how accurate that number is. (We climbed the western leg from Stage 1 to Stage 2.) Either way, we climbed somewhere between 988 to 1002 stairs. I think I got my workout for the rest of the year in.

Even though we were cold. Even though we were still a bit wet. And even though our feet and thighs were cursing us. The view was spectacular. It was worth it. It was worth it at Stage 1, too. But even better at Stage 3. I couldn't wait until we reached the top!

Arriving at the Second Stage in the West

Western view of Paris
Northern view of Paris

Eastern view of Paris

Southern view

And off we go to the top!
Because of saftey reasons, you're not allowed to climb the stairs to the third stage. So we got into a line and rode the elevator up. I loved the ride... it was kind of fun to zoom upwards and watch Paris get smaller and smaller between the metal beams of the tower legs.

The top itself was like a little museum on its own. There was border lining the top of the glass observatory that compared the heights of other famous buildings and monuments around the world to that of the Eiffel Tower's. There were a lot of informational boards and stuff. And in one corner of the tower is Eiffel's actual office! Apparently he used to work from the very top of the tower and had a little apartment there and everything. There's a wax recreation of his office showing the "famous" (I never heard of it until that day) day Thomas Edison came to share his phonograph with Eiffel and his daughter. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I was geeking out and having a blast.

I made it to the top! :)
Edison and Eiffel (with Eiffel's daughter) in
his office at the top of the tower
The dotted line is the height of the Eiffel Tower

The elevator ride down

It was still pretty windy. And we were still cold. But as we took the elevator down to the tower's base I asked Becky if she was glad we did it, she said, "I may not ever do it again... but it was worth it." I agree.

There was a couple taking pictures at the base of the tower as we were leaving.
Talk about a perfect ending.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Eiffel for Paris

Actually, I hated Paris the first 6 hours we were there. And actually, maybe, even days before we got there.

First of all, I wanted to take the Chunnel. I was very excited about riding a train or a bus under the English Channel from England and Paris. But, train tickets were expensive. And a bus basically took a whole freaking day. So we had to fly. And I had to buy our plane tickets like 4 times because of one disaster or another. It was a pain. But eventually, we got on a Lufthansa flight and we were making our way to Paris!

Except, we had a layover in Frankfurt, Germany. And while Lufthansa itself is AMAZING (so much legroom, and free snacks and drinks for the shortest flight!), the airport was so... so... convoluted. We walked MILES just to get from one gate to another. Up stairs, down stairs, along walking sidewalks, up some more stairs, down some more stairs. I wanted to kill myself, as the hand luggage we decided to share dug itself deeper and deeper into my shoulder. (It was worse on the trip back, since my feet were already protesting from all the walking and climbing we ended up doing once we got to Paris!)

The layover in Germany also meant something that I'm having a hard time forgiving.
I didn't get a Paris stamp in my passport. No Paris stamp in my passport! Instead I have a Frankfurt one! And I barely even SAW Frankfurt.

The only thing I really saw in Frankfurt...
besides the massive airport
Did I mention it was rainy and in switching planes,
we had to get on a stupid bus?!

This was pretty much the extent of where
we stayed. There's a bathroom and a small
kitchen nook, too. This is a Paris flat.
We arrived in Paris and internally, I was on a warpath. But I was also trying to remain flexible and upbeat. After all, we arrived, didn't we? And world travelers must be flexible! We ate dinner, and walked to the Arc de Triomphe, which was very close to where were were staying. And then finally, we were able to get the keys to the flat we rented. It was tiny. My dorm room was bigger. My studio apartment in Chicago was bigger (and for any of you who visited, you know... it was tiny).

Napoleon built this in honor of himself.
Sad, I know. But still pretty beautiful.

Overall, Paris is a bit dirty. And everyone smokes. Even in the rain. Some people smelled like "unwashed armpit," as Becky kept saying. But... the architecture was amazing. Instead of knocking down old buildings, they tend to just renovate the inside. And so there was this quaint charm to every street you walked down. Taking the train was much cheaper than it is in London (my bank account was thankful for that!), and while you really could walk anywhere you wanted, my feet were thankful that we didn't.

We saw all the major landmarks. Notre Dame. Sacré-Cœur Basilica (Basilica of the Sacred Heart). Arc de Triomphe. L'hôtel de Ville (where there was a watch party for the French Open going on). Musee du Louvre. Shopped and ate along the Champs-Élysées. And of course the Eiffel Tower.

The Louvre and the Eiffel Tower were by far my favorite. And I may have stayed pretty grumpy with Paris if not for those two gems. Very touristy of me, I know. But I love museums... and the Louvre was MASSIVE. There's three sections of it, and in four hours, we only really got through one and a half. We saw most of the "big ticket" items. The Mona Lisa. The Wedding at Cana. The famous statues and stuff. It was just amazing to see things so old still standing the test of time. The amount of amazing detail used considering the lack of modern appliances. It was fabulous.

There was one section filled with different versions of Mary and the baby Jesus. And... well... let's just say Becky and I had a lot of laughs in that room. Some artists portrayed Jesus in very funny ways. But I was also in awe of some of the renditions. And the ones of Jesus on the cross were actually very moving.

The Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquities were fun since I had just finished teaching my students about these ancient civilizations. I took a lot of pictures for class, and then realized I wouldn't be able to show most (if any) of them since the Greeks and Romans, especially, apparently loved nudity.

In awe of all the art work

The famous Mona Lisa
The Wedding Feast at Cana

Mary and Jesus
If you ever wondered where they got the idea for The Dancing Baby... wonder no more.
Check out Baby Jesus. He's working it!

I could go on and on and on. And I haven't even begun talking about the Eiffel Tower.

Hmm... I've save it for another post!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

London Calling

A few weeks ago, one of my best friend's got married. This wedding led me to London, and so I kind of made an extensive holiday of it.

Three weeks to be exact. In London (with a pop up to Liverpool and Manchester), Paris, and Hamburg. It was delightful. And now that I'm well recovered from my jet-lag, I figure I'd used the next few posts to share some of the highlights (and lowlights) of the trip.

Highlight #1: The Wedding Itself

I've been to a lot of weddings over the last few years. I feel like there's been at least 5 a year since I turned 21. And while most of them have been family friends and/or "relatives," only recently have my actual close friends been the one tying the knot. Ugo and I have been best friends since I was about 13 Granted I met him when I was 8... but I refused to be his friend due to some childish reasons. I'm glad I got over it. Cause even though we've been an ocean apart, he has probably been one of the biggest constants in my life. It's been a great friendship. And it was sooo weird to see him get married. And so exciting at the same time. I know I smiled a lot. And while a part of me was a little sad (let's face it, I'm obviously not his best friend anymore), I was so happy to see him so happy. I'm still smiling thinking about it all.

Highlight #2: The Queen's Jubilee

So I boycotted the Royal Wedding last year. Even though I really did want to watch it. But I just got so tired of all the Will & Kate coverage (which I'm still trying to figure out why they spell Kate with a 'K,' when she spells her full name Catherine... with a 'C'). I mean, Lifetime even made a MOVIE about them! I just couldn't do it! A part of me regrets it now. Because, like most Americans, I do have a slight obsession with the Royal Family. Okay, maybe it's just a small passing interest, but I do remember exactly where I was when I heard Princess Diana died. I was in Minna. But I digress...

My friend's wedding happen to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The second Diamond Jubilee ever in British history. And I got to take part in some of that history. And that was cool.

I didn't do everything related to the Jubilee, and missed out on the street parties and apparently a pretty cool parade. But I did get to stand along the Thames with tons of Brits waving the Union Jack and watching the boat parade (which they kept calling a pageant). The queen's boat was fabulous, and we could actually make out the members of the Royal Family on deck. It was also super cute to hear kids yelling, "Queenie! Hello, Queenie!" in cute British accents. My favorite part of the parade though was when the flags of all the Commonwealth Nations came through. I cheered extra loud for Nigeria :)

Some of the Commonwealth boats

The Royal Barge

Highlight #3: Tulips!

I was walking down the streets of London on my own, trying to figure out how to get to Oxford Street so I could shop, when out of no where a guy and his mate approach me.

"Do you want some flowers?" he asks.
I stop, slightly dumbfounded. Eventually, I manage a respone. "Are you serious?"
"Of course... you want them?"
"Because you're beautiful! Why not?!"
"Oh," I smile. "Thanks!"

And that's how I ended up with a beautiful bouquet of tulips. They brightened up the room for a week. And also led to a lot of jokes from my friends and family. But I didn't mind... I got the tulips.

They were even prettier once they bloomed


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On a Serious Note...

... I actually am going to try and freelance write/edit. I miss doing both a lot.

So, I may not be TFA, but I can still have that #1 sexy career! :)

(Funny enough, my first goal is to try breaking into TFA's magazine, One Day.)

Journalism is Sexy! What?!

So maybe I should reconsider my decision to leave the journalism world. After all, accroding to this Common Ground post, it's the #1 Sexiest job for women. Followed by teachers... but only if they are Teach for America. Which I am not. So I am apparently not a sexy teacher (sigh). Photographer is #3... so maybe if I take my hobby more seriously I could still be seen as sexy.

I lack a sexy career. Which is sad, considering that the top three are kind of within my reach. It'd explain why I'm still single, perhaps.

I kid.

Although, I have been thinking a lot about my singleness over the last 2-3 months. I promise, I'm not one of those crazy girls who is psychotically planning her wedding and just needs to put a groom in the mix and she'll be happy. Generally, I'm very content with my life. But... I do want to find "the one." And I am kind of tired of waiting around for him. Yet, I don't know how to find him.

About six weeks ago, I ran into one of my exes. I was worried it might be awkward, considering there was some cheating and a basically a year-long break up. Eventually he got married and I was left in the dust looking pathetic. It'd been like 4-5 years ago, so I knew I was definitely over it. But I hadn't seen him in all that time. And there he was... with his kid. And I felt absolutely nothing.

Well, no. That's not true. I felt relieved. Relieved that that wasn't my kid. That he wasn't my husband. That even though in the year-plus we dated we talked often of such a future... it didn't happen.

Now, I am in no way bashing his life. He seems very happy as a husband and dad. Had a good career. Is living out his happy dream. But his life isn't my dream. And it was nice to have that fact so clearly in my face. (Cause you have to admit, a part of you always wonders, right?)

And then yesterday, I ended up Facebooking with another ex, who I dated for three drama-filled years.We've talked on and off over the years since our break up. And he's always seem to be doing well enough for himself. And now he's married and has a BEAUTIFUL little girl, with a gorgeous name.

I was expecting a part of me to think: Why does he deserve the happy ending? Why am I still waiting around for mine. But again... all I felt was relief. That our paths parted and that his life wasn't one I had to share in. Again... it looks lovely. But it's not for me.

Both times, I sat back and was glad to be single. Glad that I'm not desperate. Glad that I'm not willing to settle. Because while they both have "the dream" of a spouse and kids, something I want too... it's not all that I want. And I could see it so clearly looking at their lives. They are happy in them, but I wouldn't have been.

I'll continue to trust God to write my happily every after. And in the meantime, I guess I could help Him out by working on having a sexier career... or something along those lines :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Reflection of the Wis(dom) Teeth

So far this isn't as bad as I thought it'd be. But... it's also not great. My mouth feels kind of gross and I can't rinse/brush until tomorrow at like noon!

Which made me very grateful that I did not ask a guy friend to take me for my procedure. Which was the initial plan. You see, I don't really have that many friends in Houston yet. I haven't found a church I like enough to really invest/get involved in. And then I worked A LOT in my first year of teaching. So, not much opportunity to mix and mingle and develop any true relationship.

Don't get me wrong... I love my job and have made some pretty good friendships among my coworkers. But ultimately, that's it... they are my co-workers. I don't really see/talk to any of them outside of work much. And my roommate and I are definitely good pals. But as of Saturday, she is no longer my roommate as she's gone to begin residency in Illinois :(  And between living more than 30 minutes away and having a hyper-active one-year-old, my sister wasn't really an option.

So that left me with... my old Houston friends; the ones I've had a difficult time rekindling friendships with over the last year. My closest of which is a guy. In fact, I guess he's really my only "close" friend. One I hang out with regularly enough, and who I trust enough to share my worries and joys and stuff like that. One I actually talk to more than the casual "hello" and more than once every other month. The other old Houston friends, I like and love, but I felt super awkward about asking them to take me to the oral surgeon. I mean, it would mean basically dedicating a good portion of your day to me.

The appointment was at 10am, whoever took me couldn't leave until I was done. And I think I was woken up from my drug-induced sleep between noon and 1pm. And then this person had to drive me to the pharmacy, help me make sure I could fill the prescription and not fall on my face from the all the drugs that had been pumped into me, get me up to my third floor apartment, remind me to take out the extremely bloody gauze in my mouth, tell me to take some pain meds, eat some pudding or something, and then sit around with me for at least another hour making sure I could manage on my own before leaving.

Yup. Serious commitment. Especially for someone who I haven't even had the chance to meet up with for lunch or a movie or something much less... committed. It would have been weird asking one of the old Houston friends who I've barely spoken to or seen in this last year. Who while I know most are kind hearted enough to offer... I don't know. I just couldn't ask.

So that left him. But even he I felt uncomfortable asking. I didn't want to seem/feel like some weird damsel in distress. So in the end, I did ask a coworker. We've hung out quite a few times outside of school, she's always been super helpful and we've obviously been building what will be a good friendship. So I figured why not? By asking her, it'll show I want to be good friends.
Thank God she said yes.

Because as I described earlier... it was NOT a very attractive day. And not that my goal is to necessarily to be attractive around said guy friend. I don't want to be unattractive. Which is more or less how I felt as I waited for my mouth to not feel like it was half the size of my face, and when I was drooling blood and couldn't feel it due to the numbness. Yeah... I'm not sure I'd want even my brother to see me in such a condition.

At least I still don't look like a chipmunk :)

I no longer have 32 teeth

That's right. This morning, after putting it off for years, all four wisdom teeth were removed.

It was relatively painless. And even though I can now feel my mouth there has been no pain... until I just took one of the antibiotic pills. Ouch! Opening my mouth = no fun.

But at least now I have a very good excuse to crawl into bed with some books.

And I don't have crazy, swollen chipmunk cheeks. Yet.  :-)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When Dreams Don't Die

I'm 26 years old, going on 27, and I have no clue what I want to be when I grow up. 

My first real ambition was to be Anne of Green Gables. Yup, I planned to grow up to be a white Canadian. Such lofty goals, I know. But then, I began to grow up... and wanted to be a lot of other realistic things. I mean, I obviously wasn't going to be the first figure skater to represent Nigeria in the Olympics when I didn't even try on my first pair of ice-skates until I was about 14. And I wasn't going to be a singer or actress if I was too shy (I know, right... me shy?) to actually audition for anyone. (And now, teaching has completely ruined my vocal chords... I constantly have this weird rasp in my voice even when I talk!)

But one childhood dream has yet to die.  Well... maybe more than one, since I do want to get married and I still kind of want six kids. But let's focus on career dreams for today. 

I still want to be a writer. And yet, most days I feel like that dream is slipping further and further away from being a reality. It began slipping away when I decided to major in journalism. It slipped even further away when I began looking for jobs in journalism. And when I worked at newspapers and magazines. And then it went even further on the back burner when I lost my job and left writing altogether.

Cause what do I do now? I teach. And while I have loved my first year (blog post to come on that later)... I know I'm not 100% fulfilled. But I have no true desire to go back into journalism. Not the rat race it has become anyway. But what's next if, and when, I get to the point where I no longer wish to teach?

A friend of mine just self-published her first book. I'm so proud of her. But I'm also super jealous (don't let my little green monster stop you from buying the book... it's worth angering it, hehe). This might be the first book she's actually releasing to the public. But she's written many others and seems to constantly be flowing with ideas. I have had a few ideas and have begun to work out something only to abandon it at some point.

Another friend (or maybe former friend, we haven't really spoken in like 8 years. But a huge part of me still sees her as one. End silly digression here.) apparently quit her job and is planning to pursue her dream of being a screenwriter. Something else I've wanted to do. There's this one particular book I've been dying to adapt and I imagine it and dream it... but have yet to actually try to do it. And let's not even get me started on all the shows I've been dying to be a writer for. 

I hate them both. But truly love them. Because what do you do when dreams don't die? You pursue them. And that's what they are doing. And they just might have inspired me to do the same. 

Or at least begin to let that dream live again. 
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