Writing Challenge Day 23: Something You Miss

My college roommate once said she could not fathom how anything mattered in her life until after her first child was born. Since I was only part of her pre-child life, I took offense. The part she so hastily discarded as rubbish is, and always has been, near and dear to my heart.

It was at State University that I learned how to live. On my own terms. That was a luxury I did not have in the house growing up.

And I miss that college life.

I miss the moments of self discovery, learning more about myself and how I interacted with the world.

I miss the reckless abandonment of cross country road trips, spending 2am in a diner, and sipping vodka cocktails on the apartment steps after a long week on a Friday night.

I miss the boys – friends and the ones who would wake up next to me in the morning – where are they now? What are they doing? Are they happy with where life took them? Do they think of me as I do them?

I miss the relaxed schedule of classes, without the drone of a long workday, of which pivots everything else in my life.

I miss my sanctuaries of the coffee shop, the running trail, and the 18th story lounge of my old dorm that towered over the city. All of those places shaped me as a writer and provided a sounding board.

I miss the smell of the stage where I worked for slightly more than minimum wage. I can’t recall the scent I used to revel in; I’ve been away too long.

I miss having friends readily available. Now, I have to take in account distance, jobs, husbands, children – the list goes on. Gone are the days of hanging out randomly.

While I am more comfortable in my skin now than I was back in the day, I miss the person that was me. I miss the people my friends were before jobs, family, and life events changed them. I’m much more jaded now than I was – even though I’m childless and driving the same car I had in college. Even I haven’t escaped the sands of time.

While I lost my roommate to the abyss of motherhood and career, a college friend I occasionally hung out with – we ran in different circles – is now one of my closest confidants. She’s the one I call when the pain gets too much to bear. She knows all about the storms rocking my world, and I share in hers. I miss I didn’t make the most of our time when we lived a few moments away from each other; and now a 10+ hour drive separates us.

I’m perpetually stuck between what was and what is. I miss that old life so much, but I am thankful for where I am now, healthier in all aspects of life.

I just wish I could go back and visit once in awhile.

Writing Challenge Day 24: A Family Member You Dislike

Let me start by saying I do not dislike any family members. I’m very proud that I am not in a rift or avoid any of my kin.

That being said, there is one family member who I am not happy with right now. This person is a parent of a child in desperate need of counseling due to the extreme severity of the child’s mental health. They got on their soapbox with great fanfare about how they were a champion of doing the right thing by bringing in professionals; several months later, the words ring empty. Luckily the situation which caused all this uproar has calmed down, but I know the volcano is only sleeping; they think it is dormant. I pity anyone caught in the lava flow of the next eruption. Yours truly will probably be one of the casualties, because I care too damn much.

So be it. The child is worth it.

I live too far away and cannot become that meddling relative in matters of which I have no jurisdiction. I can only support from outside. And they know – the whole lot of them – I am always here to listen, help, and do. And unlike all of them, my actions and my words are one in the same.

Writing Challenge Day 22: My Morning Routine

Since taking this new gig, my morning routine isn’t exactly what I need it to be, but for the moment, it works.

I wake up at 0500, saunter downstairs, and feed my inpatient cats. Bathroom and teeth are next. Lately, I’ll find myself taking a 8+ minute nap under an Afghan before feeding the cats. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of a weird dream, and I need a few moments to straighten out my thoughts.

Next, I check my phone and the news/Twitter feeds while my coffee is brewing. Once my coffee is ready, I sit on the deck (during summer) or my sitting room (during winter). I spend these quiet moments in contemplative prayer. My favorite devotion is Pray As You Go, 13 minutes of pure bliss: coffee, quiet, Jesus.

After this, depending on what’s on the day’s docket, I’ll work on my German/French lessons, correspondence, tidy, etc. but only for a few minutes. Then it’s shower, breakfast, and run out the door for work at 0700.

Once my world stops spinning with this house buying stuff, perhaps I’ll extend my bedtime and wake up a bit later. I miss that extra hour in the morning to write. I need to adjust. But with everything else, I feel perhaps I should keep at least one routine normal.

Writing Challenge Day 21: Your horoscope and whether you think it fits you

I’m a Libra – the scales.

Ironically it fits me quite well. I’m always trying to find balance in life. I’m a peacemaker, as I’m quite good at seeing both sides to a problem. Trouble is, I’m terrible at making decisions. I will debate everything ad nausium. I’m often up in the clouds with my thoughts, but I’m fiercely loyal. I can be a social butterfly when I so chose, but I’d rather be alone, writing.

And right now, my scales are swinging wildly.

Writing Challenge Day 20: Put your music player on shuffle and write the first 3 songs that play and what your initial thought is

Battle of Evermore – Led Zeppelin
While I had been a longtime listener of Led Zeppelin, I didn’t hear this song until college. It came to me during the worst depression phase of my life. It was such a comforting melody, it instantly calmed me down. It was also a staple on my playlist when I was an intern: I would listen to it as the sun rose while driving down a lonely interstate.

Across the Universe – The Beatles
As a Beatles fan for as long as I can remember, I didn’t appreciate this song until I was older. It was another song of comfort with its gentle tempo and cryptic lyrics of a wayward writer. I can relate to this song well.

Sandstorm – Darude
I love techno music. This was a big mainstream hit in the late 90’s. I’m a sucker for anything with a good beat and this song delivered. It was great for running with its high energy.

Writing Challenge Day 19: Five Fears You Have

As someone who suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and has sought treatment with varying degrees of success, I won’t go into detail about them. I don’t want to dwell on them and thus throw my brain into overdrive. Without further ado, here they are:

1. Inadvertently hurting someone, whether it’s at work (I work in the medical field), a loved one, or a stranger

2. Depths of water/being pulled out to sea

3. Cockroaches

4. Being filmed

5. Making a bad decision that has a lasting impact

Writing Challenge Day 17: A Quote You Try to Live By

“….yet not my will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:4

When I was going through one of the biggest challenges of my life, this phrase was constantly on my lips. I said it through the river of tears in the aftermath of the door slamming shut. I said it filled with untethered hope at the prospect everything would work out just fine.

You see, I’m a go-getter kind of girl. I make things happen with my work ethic. As an academic and for the most part of life, this has served me well. But there are moments, years even, of complete and total failure that I cannot fix. Whether the situation is beyond my control, or there’s literary nothing can be done about it. I struggle hard in those moments. I only learned in the past few years how to fail. It still hurts, but I’ve come to accept it.

Those words of my Savior are such a comfort. Despite His status as God in flesh, He too struggled with the same thing: we knew what outcome we wanted, but we’re willing to forego that if God the Father wanted something different. And so my human condition remains.

May He get the glory in all things.

Writing Challenge Day 16: Bullet Your Entire Day

  • Woke up without an alarm
  • Fed the kitties
  • Went back to bed
  • Crocheted a bit
  • Made coffee
  • Sat outside and read my devotional and drank coffee
  • Cleaned all the things
    • Table with mineral spirits due to fogging
    • Vacuumed/steam cleaned chairs
    • Cleaned bathroom
    • Straightened kitchen
    • Washed linens to be given away
  • Dehydrated bananas
  • Made marinaded chicken in a crockpot
  • Went to the beach to read/relax/swim
  • Stopped for soft serve strawberry ice cream on the way home
  • Went for a run (which, let’s be honest, was really a walk)
  • Showered
  • Ate some chicken
  • Dehydrated strawberries and pineapple (I’m going to be up till 0100….)
  • Talked to husband who is out of town
  • Poured myself a shot of pineapple rum with lime sparkling water
  • Cleaned the front closet
  • Sat down to write

Writing Challenge Day 15: 3 Pet Peeves

  1. PEOPLE WHO YELL AND SCREAM OVER STUPID THINGS THAT ULTIMATELY DO NOT MATTER.  If you’re ranting and raving about something, have a good reason.  Do not completely lose yourself to something as inconsequential as a fork was in the spoon holder.  (I have actually witnessed this.)
  2. GREENBRIARS.  These stupid vine weeds complete with thorns and rhizomes (think ginger root-like roots) have taken over my yard and every year it is a act of war to remove these things, manually, with a shovel.  I am thankful they do not fight back.
  3. DRIVING SHORT DISTANCES.  If it’s under a mile, I will walk. I do this all the time for errands and getting lunch at work.  Co-workers from other departments are constantly asking me if I need a ride because they saw me walk to the store, which is 1/8 of a mile away (like 700 feet!).