Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happiness is....

I spent a few hours today in a coffee shop drinking a fancy coffee with espresso and flavored syrup, writing, interweb surfing, reading other peoples blogs. It was quite nice.

I asked my facebook friends via my status "What makes you happy?" And oh the feedback!!

I learned a few things from this. One, more people comment on anything you have to say if it involves them more than any other time. Which is fine. It's always easiest to talk about yourself. And plus, I asked the question.

And two, it really is the simple things in life that make us happy. There were many comments that had friends and family listed as happiness. I think that is a given. At least with friends, if they don't make you happy, you probably shouldn't be friends with them. And family, well mine make me happy. Others may have another story.

But I love what other people put down. Here are some samples:
me bed and my cats
good smelling candles
a good/new/any book
coffee/wine dates with friends
hot chocolate
dogs napping at your feet
ah-ha moments with students
hazelnut lattes
snuggling under blankets
warm bread
smiles from confident women (this was one of my favs)
laughing children
late breakfasts
clean sheets
mental health
acts of kindness
playing piano
hiking in the fall

Part of what I was writing today was a list that I'd like to turn into a book of things I try to do in my life that makes it so wonderful. And I used my fabulous friends as inspiration via a social networking site.

Thanks Friends! Heres to keeping happy thoughts at the front of your mind!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A literary moment

I am reading a lovely book right now. It's by a woman named Audrey Niffenegger (she wrote The Time Traveler's Wife) and it's called Her Fearful Symmetry. Lovely is a good word to describe this book. It's not a huge page turner like Dan Brown, it hasn't made question my beliefs like Jodi Picoult, and it's not creepy like Stephen King. But it has some wonderful characters in it, and it's written so that I want to keep going. I feel attached to these people and I want to know what happens next in their lives.

I read this excerpt today: "Silence. Robert could hear his nervous system whining in his head."

I don't think I've ever been that quiet. I don't think I've ever been in a room where it has been that quiet so I could be that quiet. It really nailed how silent it was for Robert.

I love books, words, reading, stories.


Friday, October 23, 2009

My writings, my heart

I think I'm good with words. I think I'm witty. I know I can tell a story with such inflection that it makes it much better than what actually happened. But every time I send in my latest assignment to my writing class I think to myself "That sucked. My instructor is going to have all these things for me to fix. Ugh, I'm not looking forward to getting it back." But my last several assignments have come back with good comments and mostly nothing but punctuation to fix. (That I am terrible at.)

I think my writing is my version of having a weight complex. I never think it's good enough (like thinking I'm never skinny enough) and I think of all these things I could have done to improve it. But when someone else looks at it, they see well chosen words, a beginning, middle, end, and all in all, a well written piece.

So perhaps I'm better than I think. We are our own worst critic, especially in something we really are invested in.

I realized I've writen a lot on here about my writings. But have never really given an example of what I'm talking about. Other than the blogs themselves. So I'm going to go out on a limb and put a sample or two on here for all to see.

The first was my first assignment for this class. I had to describe a person. I choose a friend from my old B&N in Las Cruces.


She walks into work and the dirty, dull walls seem to get brighter, full of warmth and energy. She moves fast like a hummingbird, but not nearly as quiet. Her hands constantly flutter to her necklace, hair, to tug on her shirt. “Dude!” she says. The emphasis on the first half of the word, the last half fading into the latest thing she has to tell you. She is well put together, each hair effortlessly curled and lips always glossed. It brightens my day to know she'll be there. As she puts her stuff in her locker, I stand to the side and observe, it's like a one woman show with guest appearances. She has her question for guest number one and without waiting for an answer she is on to guest number two. She changes topics of conversation as fast as she moves. I think she's trying to see who will be the most entertaining. The wheels in her head are spinning, calculating the information. Then the wheels will spit out an answer in big bold letters “YOU! You are the chosen one for today's delight and laughter.” She's a Venus Fly Trap in disguise. She will ask enough questions and say the right quirky comment to keep you around, your eyes and ears begging for more.

I see her and see a beautiful woman with a thick history. Her past sits below the surface, gooey, thick, dormant. If you are willing to sit around long enough, bits of her past pop up like a mouse out of a hole and disappear just as fast. You think “Did she say that?” You hold on to that gift of her soul, hoping for more to piece together the person below the facade. I think she tries to cover up her dense past with a present full of sunshine and joy.

If I close my eyes and say her name, Julianne, the first things that comes to mind are her laugh, and her heart. She doesn't stifle her laughter, she laughs at the most outrageous or mundane things, just the way everyone should. It's boisterous, a big hardy giggle. Laughter enriches the soul, and laughing with her enhances mine. Her heart is guarded. But she wears it on her sleeve. Almost saying “look, touch, but I beg, be kind.” Even after being hurt she doesn't put her heart away and lock it up. She picks it up, blows on it like you would to shine up an apple and puts it back for all to try again.

Every time it is just us, I want to share something new with her, hoping she will do the same. She seems more complex than I. Her fast movement, her well coordinated look, her barely visible history, make me want to dig into what keeps her moving. Is it her love for today, or is it her fear of her past coming up to walk beside her rather than linger behind?


And this second piece I wrote when I came home from NM. I had an assignment due and all I could think about was my break up. So I wrote about it. This was by far the most challenging thing I have ever written, I had to make it an actual article rather than use it for venting about my broken heart. Know that I am not putting this up to be vengeful or spiteful, this was raw emotion from a long time ago, and that I have healed and moved on. Not many people have read this (or know the full story for that matter,) so I ask, please be kind.


Several months ago my heart got thrown a curve ball when my boyfriend of over two years told me that he didn't think I was the one he was supposed to marry. But the kicker was that it came out when we were discussing getting a cat.

I guess to him, a furry four-legged pet is one step below getting engaged. I just wanted a cat, nothing more. I am not one of those girls who says one thing and means another. Like “Honey, let's get a cat,” means “Honey, when are you going to buy me my big rock?” I prefer the direct route.

So at that point, everything that I had counted on as being solid and sure fell apart around me. And I have spent the summer and this fall trying to heal and build something new.

Looking back, there were so many signs that said we didn't fit, and so many times where the opportunity to end it arose. But they say love is blind, and I'll be darned, they were right. I was stuck on the idea of what we as a couple could become rather than noticing how far down a dark hole we were.

Neil Sedaka was right - “Breaking up is hard to do.” If only a break-up and all the emotions lasted as long as that song.

When the words “You're not the one I'm supposed to marry” were thrown out on the table, I had a decision to make. Stay in a relationship that is clearly not going to go where I was hoping, or move forward for no other reason but for myself alone.

I realize moving on and accepting are much easier said than done. But the only way to get through it is just to take the step. Take the first step and sooner or later your other foot will follow.

I went through all the stages of grief. Denial- at the fact that those words weren't said, he really didn't feel that way, and we were going to get through it. Bargaining- I could move past it, I could live with someone who felt that way. Anger. And that emotion was the turning point for me, when I was so angry at the fact that he didn't seem to care if what he was saying hurt me. Then I hit acceptance. I started to accept the fact that “us” and “forever” was no longer a possibility.

I couldn't pin-point the moment when I said to myself, “This is not where I want to be anymore.” But I do know that one day I woke up and thought, “I can
get through this.” Not we can get through this. Because there is no more we. It's all just me now. And that is okay.

“It's like there is rock bottom, 50 feet of crap, then me.” (Rachel on the TV show Friends) Sound familiar? We've all been there. So where did I go from there? Let me tell you, my broken-hearted friend, I got “up every morning, and breathed in and out all day long.” (Sleepless in Seattle) It takes many things to get through a break-up. But don't worry if you find yourself in a pit of self-loathing temporaily.

I've done it. I've asked the questions, “Where did we go wrong? When did he stop caring? What could I have done differently?” And the answer is to stop asking those questions. You'll send yourself to the nut house before you get an answer. Get a hobby, get out of the house, go for a walk, and it's okay that if during all of these activities all you think about is your broken heart. That’s normal.

I sat in the thoughts of my broken relationship for much longer than I would like to admit, but I also found my own resources to get past it. I wrote about it, I talked about it, I cried and cried some more, and then in true girl fashion, I talked about it again.

The biggest thing that I did to move on was to move away. It was just the right thing to do. I had moved to another state full of hope for our relationship. And when that was no more, it was just simple logic that told me to move back to where I came from. That may not be what would work for you, but metaphorically speaking you could “move” to help pick up the pieces. It takes time, patience, and being distracted to move forward.

If you keep your mind on other things, your heart will follow. Trust me. I dove into writing about my broken heart, I dove into watching my favorite movies about love that were guaranteed to make me cry. I picked up book after book to get lost in someone else's story. I went for walks. I've noticed that walking gives me a good, solid time to think, sort things out, get my head to start talking to my heart. And getting my heart to listen.

At the end of all the tears and questions is a new beginning. On my drive back to my home state, I stopped at a quaint little gift shop and bought one tiny thing that I solidly believe started my healing. It was a little metal key that had the words “New Beginnings” engraved on it. At the end of a broken relationship I had found a new place to start fresh for myself. Once I had that key in my hand, I knew I had done what was right.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A good deed turned down

So the last couple of days it's been chilly and rainy here. Which I don't mind. I like the chill, I like scarves and sweaters, and the rain... well, we need it. So the weather doesn't bring me down like it does others.

But today I get off the bus, open my umbrella and notice and man rolling by in his wheelchair. With no protection from the rain whatsoever. It's cold out, and he's drenched. He's got cloves on to protect his hands from all the pushing on the wheels, I'm assuming. And he looks unbelievably down in the dumps. We are standing at the same corner waiting to cross the street and I think to myself, I wonder if he'd like some help. So when the walk sign comes on, I lean down and say "Hey Man, you want me to push you across the street?"

And he responds with a very emphatic "No!" And I was so taken aback that I just said "OK." and continued on my way. I wasn't doing it out of pity or because I felt bad for a guy who couldn't walk. I just wanted to do something nice for someone else. Especially when it's raining and people seem to be a little more down than when the sun is shinning.

I wonder if we as a community were just nicer to each other in general if this man wouldn't have been so hostile to a simple offer. It goes back to what we learned in kindergarten "Treat others the way you would want to be treated" I just don't understand how we can disregard others and what we see them go through every day. I just wanted to help him get across the street a little bit faster, get to a dry spot a bit quicker. But I guess he was determined to do it on his own. Wet and alone.

I kind of hope that where ever he went, he smiled when he got there.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

All is right in my world

So I've been back in Minneapolis for over a year. Technically it was a year on October 4th. And this past year has been one of the best ones yet!

Moving to the dumb desert, realizing that I don't belong there, and for many other reasons making the commitment to move home, and starting fresh with just me has been the best thing I could do for myself. It was all such a long, self-discovering journey. I learned what I want, what I need, figured out what I surly don't want, realized new things I'm good at, and fell in love with Minneapolis all over again.

In the past year I've become more comfortable with just being. I've become more assertive, grown stronger from within, and I really feel like I've grown into my skin.

It's a great feeling. It's comforting feeling. And it's all sitting happily within my heart.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Last baseball post till next spring

Stupid, overpaid, over-popular, trendy-right-now Yankees ripped it out from under us again!

I hate the Yankees! They are so good and I hate them! It's no fun to root for a team that always wins.


I guess Alex Rodriguez didn't do what I asked and give my Twins a break. Damnit.

Friday, that ball was fair! And yesterday Punto was safe!!

But I will say all three games they both played such good ball. My hometown heroes played their hearts out! And they won the division championship, which was a big feat considering where they where a little over a month ago.

I'm proud of them and can't hardly wait for next season! It will be my first outdoor baseball game and I'm stoked!

And thanks so much to my awesome Mom for getting the tickets to these fantastically played games!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Open mouth insert BOTH feet

So today at work I was hopped up from an uber fun evening the night before and an extra cup of coffee this morning. We were having a good day, steady flow of customers, gossiping and joking with each other. At one point, my co-worker Laura, is helping someone and I look up to take the next order and Kate Hudson is standing in front of me.

Yep. THAT Kate Hudson.

The Yankees are in town to play the Twins tomorrow for the ALDS championship. And according to all the gossip rags I flip through at work, Kate is dating Alex Rodriguez, the 3rd baseman for the Yankees.

I look down and silently scream "Holy crap, that's Kate Hudson!" Look up, and take her order.

She orders a grande, skinny, triple, wet Cappuccino and then says she will be right back. I lean over to Laura and whisper "That's totally Kate Hudson." And at the point we both loose our shit. I'm shaking making her drink, thinking "I'm not going to get enough foam!" And Laura can't count change and completely looses her train of thought.

When Kate came back in her Gucci sunglasses and Louis Vuitton boots, I ring her up, give her my membership discount (yeah, cause she needs to save money), give her the change and say "It was a pleasure to make your drink." She smiles and says thank you and walks away.

Laura and I flip out. We can't even put a sentence together enough to express how shocked we are. We just jump around the cafe with a Did-that-just-happen attitude.

Not too long after I see Alex Rodriguez in magazines. I go over to him and say "So are you going to give my boys a break tomorrow let them win one?" (Keep in mind, the last two games the Twins have been up until the last couple of innings and those damn Yankees just rip it away. I hate the Yankees!) And he says "Your boys don't need a break. They're good." I shake his hand and go back to my cafe.

This is where it gets good.

We are so star struck that we are running on adrenaline and are bumping around the cafe. I am so excited that I start to tell everyone that comes through my line. "How's your day?" they ask. "Well, let me tell you!"

I'm so stoked that I go and tell this story to another Yankee ball player.

Yep. Open mouth insert BOTH feet.

Only I don't find this out until after I have already babbled my stupid celebrity sighting to another celebrity. I didn't recognize him. I only know the big names on the team. And apparently the ones who make the gossip rags.

When another co-worker who witnessed my ridiculous moment told me what I did, I was so sutpidly embarrassed all I could do was laugh. I was totally THAT fan. The one who is so in awe of a celebrity that I have to go and tell everyone else.


Ahhh well. It makes for a good story for me, a good laugh for a lot of others. And I bet for those few celebrities I encountered tonight, I'm just another one in their book of Dumb Things Fans Do and Say.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I love my Twins!!


First off, many many thanks to my awesome mom for getting tickets to the tie breaking game for the division championship! Mom, you're the best!!!

And secondly, what a game! They played so hard, and it was so tense and exciting! (Funny, I just realized that every sentence I have written has ended with an exclamation point. I guess I'm excited!)

I could recount all that happened, but that is done by professional sports writers. I don't think the atmosphere in the Dome tonight could get any more electric. The whole place was alive and buzzing and rooting with all it's heart for our boys to pull through. I don't think I breathed for much of the game. I get so nervous, and find myself sitting with my hands clenched in front of my face. Praying? Perhaps. To the Gods of Baseball.

Bottom of the 12th inning. Yep, 12th! And we win 6-5!

Absolutely amazing!

This is probably my best live sports experience that I've ever had.

I love love love baseball!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Right on, TWINS!!


Well, before Tuesday when the playoffs start. But the last regular season game!


And funny enough, it was all thanks to work. We sold a book out on the plaza before the game called Twins at The Met, so I got in for free. Plus I met Harmon Killebrew, and got his autograph for my mom.

I sat in the very top row. Yep very top in center field, usually were that curtain is hanging, for the first 5 or so innings. Then we wandered from section to section for the remainder of the game. I was down near home plate for a home run or two! Probably the closest I will ever be to home plate.

And we won 13-4! It was so awesome! Over 51,000 people were in attendance. Amazing!

I love love love baseball!

Friday, October 2, 2009

A bit of baseball nostalgia

I'm feeling a little nostalgic right now. The Minnesota Twins are playing their last 3 games at the Dome this weekend and I can't go. They are right now winning against the Royals, have two more games to play and if the stars line up correctly, they will win the pennant and more!

I've never been to an outdoor baseball game. Well, that isn't entirely true. I went to a Saints game once, but we got there in the 3rd inning, left in the 7th or the 8th and I didn't really watch the game for reasons I don't remember. So I'm totally excited for next season to be in an outdoor stadium! Sun, baseball, beer, ahhhh that sounds like a great summer evening.

But I'm still going to miss the Dome. That stinky place holds a very odd spot in my heart. A lot of memories from my childhood, my mom taking me to games, Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek, the whole '87 team. That was the year that I remember falling in love with baseball. It's a childhood dream of mine to catch a fly ball. I'd totally risk a broken hand to take one of those home!!

I heart baseball. It is America's favorite past time. And here I am, sitting in my jammies, keeping tabs on the game on line, and not going to the other two games this weekend. Stupid morals (I should go work the shift I scheduled myself), and prior plans!

My beloved Twinkies, know that I'm with you in spirit! Go out of the Dome with a bang!