Archive for the ‘sarah’ Tag

hey stephen, i could give you fifty reasons why i should be the one you choose. all those other girls, well, they’re beautiful but would they write a song for you?   Leave a comment

When I think back on my History of Boys…I realize what good taste I have.  Okay, there were some questionable crushes & boyfriends back in my middle school days- no names mentioned- but you Hampton kids may remember my dating track record.  (Note: Sadly it was more plentiful as a pre-teen than a twentysomething.)  But in all seriousness, or at least as much as I can muster up regarding this topic, I really do have decent taste in boys…which is probably why I’ve been single for so long.  I kid, I kid.  There really are good guys out there and I’ve been fortunate to know many of them; crush on some of them; and even make-out with a few of those heartbreakers.  But that’s where the potential love story always seems to end- with a maybe I’ll see you again kiss.  I swear I’ve been cursed for not sending those darn chain letters.  But then again, is it really a curse since I’ve had the chance to meet, crush on, and/or kiss at least a dozen of incredible guys?  Can that be considered bad luck if I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with these once-in-a-lifetime kinds of guys…even if they prove to be unattainable?

Unattainable Guys.  We all know at least one guy (from our lives) that falls into this category.  That middle school crush.  Your first love…and heartbreak.  The bartender at your favorite college bar.  Mr. Perfect who you always see on your commute to work.  Unattainable Guys: Those boys that have a bevy of girls chasing after ‘your guy’ that will never be yours.  A group of vultures (aka girls) that your inner-thirteen year self deems is prettier and better ‘girfriend material’ than you.  Unattainable Guys: Ones that you can look at and desire with every ounce you have to give, but can never call ‘mine’ (yours).  Unattainable Guy-itis is what I’m going to call it, and is something that I’ve had for a while now and just cannot seem to get rid of.  GRRRrrrrrr.

Yesterday I found myself continually confessing to my friend Sarah, who’s visiting from Bermuda (yes, as in ‘Bermuda, Bahama, come on, pretty mama’), that my fate in life is “To be single”.  I’ve accepted it and, quite frankly, I feel like I have a lot to offer the world of Singletons and Couples based on my Forever-Role as a Single Lady.  Of course Sarah’s response was like most others, “Minnie, that’s not true!  You’ll meet someone when the timing is right and he’ll be fantastic because you are fantastic!”  I stood strong in my belief but also engaged in a night-long on-and-off conversation (with the other girls too) about Love, Crushes, and All that Jazz in Between.  Sarah also got to witness the Lovely Boy Scene that is here in Chicago, IL.  Yes, please note my sarcasm.  I definitely wasn’t “winning” last night, although I could care less since I was in perfect company with my ladies. 

(Plus, my ♥ is with Max.)

At 2:30-3 am, after a trip to the Wiener Circle, Sarah and I changed into pajamas for an after-hours Girl Chat and viewing of He’s Just Not That Into You.  As the movie began, we found ourselves talking about the Unattainable Guys in our lives, including her boyfriend of 1.5 years.  Yes, her now-boyfriend was once categorized (by Sarah, herself) as an Unattainable Guy.  This is the same friend, Sarah, who is most confident girl I know.  The same Sarah that I’ve witnessed many of boys ogling after for 6 years now.  Yes, this girl once believed that she had her eyes on an “Unattainable Guy” that wasn’t interested in anything more than a flirty (sparks flying) introductory conversation and make-out session the first night they met. 

So where does this leave me?  Has Sarah’s confession given me hope?  Not really; however, it’s left me with this thought: What if that Unattainable Guy worries that you’re the Unattainable Girl that he can never have?  What if he has the same doubts & concerns that you have about him?  What if?  What if.

In one chapter of my History of Boys there was one Unattainable Guy whose own history appeared to be quite similar to mine.  Having had known him through my friends for a year (or so), I enjoyed having the chance to get to know him better myself- as friends (with some friendly flirting, possibly, in the mix too).  To be honest, as my crush grew I found myself getting more intimidated as I realized that he was one of those guys that always had girls hoping to be The One He’d Choose.  (I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I didn’t once hope the same thing.)  But through that (minor) intimidation over Mr. Unattainable, I came to this realization: I may not be the beautiful girl, but I am pretty great.  I may not be perfect, but I have a lot to give a guy.  I may not be the one this (or that) seemingly unattainable guy will choose…but someone will (one day). 

This realization is still my belief…even in rough, emotional-draining, self-esteem depleting moments like ones I had today.  I have this habit for liking Unattainable Guys and I’m going to accept my fate that this isn’t going to change anytime soon.  However, I’m also hoping that life will stop teasing me by throwing good guys into my path that I will never call ‘mine’.   I’m hoping that I’ll continue to trump those negative thoughts and believe that me being ‘me’ makes me the most beautiful to the one that chooses me.  I may not be too good at writing songs (about my History of Boys), but can continue to write my own life story.  A story in which the protagonist (yours truly) comes to find that There’s No Such Thing as an Unattainable Guy, and therefore, whole-heartedly realizes that there are more than fifty reasons for a good guy to choose her (me). 

*Note: As always, when I make these affirmations to myself, my hope is that you (whoever you are that reads this blog) adopt this Acceptance & Confident mindset for himself/herself.  Remember, You Are Beautiful.

 

Song of the Moment: Hey Stephen by Taylor Swift

in memoriam: sarah’s joe   1 comment

Four years: The time one spends wandering those cliquey halls of high school.

Four years: The (expected) number of years one roams around a college campus, mostly drunk or hungover. 

So many good memories can occur in four years, but four years to my friend, Sarah, is the amount of time that she’s spent mourning the loss of her boyfriend, Joe.  Four years ago today, Joe passed away unexpectedly.  While I unfortunately never had the opportunity to meet him, I remember him today through Sarah’s memories and the love they shared.

To understand the impact that Joe’s death had on Sarah, it’s best for me to paint a clearer picture of my dear friend.  Sarah Donley: Fun. Crazy. Life of the Party. Flirty. Boy Crazy. Make-out Bandit. Get the picture?  Sarah’s looks and energy not only attract every guy in the room, but they also get her into trouble.  If I had a dime for every guy I’ve had a “Sarah” talk with…

But everything changed when Sarah met Joe.  Joe, bless his soul, made the greatest impact that one can make on another: Love.  Without ever seeing them together, I know that he loved her dearly because I saw just how much she loved him.  A love that can only be experienced when the one you love loves you in return.

The only thing worse than Joe’s passing was that Sarah was there.  As a nurse, let alone a loved one, she suffered the trauma of not being able revive him.  Having to deal with that on top of losing the man she loves…no words.  My heart breaks just thinking about her broken heart.  I hated knowing that I couldn’t do anything to help her, except be there for her.  Kristin, Ruth, Carrie- we could only just be there for Sarah.  And love her.

While Sarah’s come along way these past four years, I know that her heart is still broken.  Especially today, as I’m sure Joe is the only thing on her mind.  And for that very reason, my own heart is breaking today.  

But like everything else I experience these days, I’m going to try to turn this blue day into a lesson to be learned.  Instead of sitting here burdened by worry and sadness, I’m going to use today- the 4th anniversary of Joe’s death- to think about life. 

What is it about death that makes us think about life?   

When my Pap passed away last summer, I only cried twice: 1) The day after, before flying back to Pittsburgh, at CVS when Beyonce’s Halo blasted through the aisles; and 2) At his funeral when I saw my Grandma, as the loyal wife of a veteran, gracefully accept condolences in the procession line.

But besides those uncontrollable tears, I didn’t mourn for him.  I knew Pap was in a better place far, far away from the pain and suffering that he faced for 10 years.  Thinking about him, about the things he missed out on during the decade after his first stroke, I let him inspire me to live.   

And that’s what Joe is doing for me today. Thinking about him, Sarah, and the love they shared is inspiring me to live.  And live a lot.  We say it all the time: Life is short.  But sometimes saying it, acknowledging that fact of life, is all people do.  Why?  What are you waiting for?  Do what you want to do.  Say what you want to say.  Dream the dreams you want to dream.  Love who you want to love.  Be exactly who you want to be.

Do the things you’d regret not doing.  That’s been my motto this past year, and actually it is the reason I first moved to Chicago two years ago.  I knew I’d always wonder what if  if I didn’t go.  So I packed up  my bags and turned my back on a life of regrets by choosing to live. 

So, in honor of Joe, my Pap, and all of the loved ones that we have lost, let us remember them and celebrate their lives by choosing to live.

seren-dipity-doo-dah   2 comments

Maybe our mistakes make our fate…without them what would change our lives? Maybe if we had never veered off course we wouldn’t fall in love, have babies, or be who we are. After all, things change, people come into your life and they go. But it’s comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart…and if you’re a very lucky person, just a plain ride away.  ~Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

I always think of my girlfriends when I see this quote, especially my Sex and the City Ladies- Ruth, Kristin, and Sarah.  We used to try figuring out which of us was Charlotte, Miranda, Samantha, and Carrie.  In my opinion, Sarah is definitely Samantha and Kristin is Charlotte.  Ruth is probably more of Miranda but definitely has her Samantha moments.  Leaving me as Carrie.  Yes, I’m probably definitely a Carrie…Maybe with some Charlotte moments. 

Where the heck am I going with this?  See, this is what happens when I see this quote and start thinking about my ladies. So life has taken us all in different directions (literally): Ruth is in Northern California, Sarah is living in Bermuda (seriously!), Kristin is married and a home-owner in Columbus, and me, little Ms. Carrie Bradshaw, is analyzing the world from her apartment in Chicago.  Well, this week I’m analyzing it from Cincinnati, Ohio- surrounded by the toys of two adorable children, Hazel & George, and their inspiring mother, Rebecca. 

So what’s on my mind these days?  Fate.  Destiny. Serendipity.  Call it what you will, but we all know what this means: The belief that our life is pre-determined.  That ‘everything happens for a reason’.  We’ve all heard that line before, whether we want to or not, but do we believe it? 

Yesterday after a brief call with my mom, I received an unexpected email from my friend, Dina.  Her lovely, thoughtful, encouraging words really touched me.  So from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Dina.  Both my mom and Dina brought up- in their own way & words- hit on the concept of fate; of destiny; that everything happens for a reason.  That people come into our life when the timing is right…for both of us.  This was Dina’s point, not my mom’s.  My mom thinks that it should just happen every single time I walk out the door.  BAM! instant BFFs.  POOF! love of my life.

Back to Dina’s point: It’s all about timing, ladies & gentlemen.  So often, too often, we get so frustrated when things don’t pan out the way we want them to.  I, too, fall into this category so I’ll speak for myself.  We think that we’re absolutely, 100% ready for that job to be ours, to meet “The One” that we’ve been waiting for; however, we need to realize that in those scenarios, especially the latter one, that another party is involved.  Therefore, it’s best to remember that even if you’re ready, perhaps the other person isn’t- yet. 

Patience has never been my best quality.  My own father will tell you that without a mere second thought.  However, in my defense, I have gotten much better over the years.  Andy Warhol said it best, “The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.”  True, true.  Though let me add to that by saying that waiting for something helps you realize whether or not you really want it.  But even if your decipher that you’re ready, perhaps the other part of the equation (the perfect job or the perfect guy/girl) isn’t quite ready for you.  What do you think of that?

When you meet the supposed love of your life at twenty years old, it’s impossible to comprehend that it is not the right time…yet.  It may be perceived as foolish, but instead it’s merely evidence that you have A LOT of growing up left to do before the time is right.  As a wiser twenty-seven year old, I can tell you that timing is everything.  Time provides us with the experience to discover who we are; take chances; and learn from our mistakes.  Time allows us to figure out what we really want and what we’re willing to fight for.  To quote (or paraphrase) a line from Sex and the City 2, which I just saw for the first time tonight: “Time does not matter.  When we see one another, it’s wonderful.”

 I know, all of my thoughts are fairly transparent as they center around people specifically.  Yes, L.O.V.E. is a common factor in everything I’ve mentioned above- but not just romantic love.  All of these may pertain to friends, family members, or mentors that have played a role in your development.  See, new people enter (and re-enter) into our life each and every day, but (unfortunately) not all of them remain in our life.  An example: When I was in middle school, one BFF after another slowly disappeared from my life.  I couldn’t understand why and, as a result, I blamed myself for pushing them away.  I look back now and realize how little I knew about life, about friendship back then.  Not every friend you make is going to be in your life forever.  It’s not necessarily anyone’s fault.  That’s just how life is.  As the line goes, everything happens for a reason.

But there are certain people who Fate brings to us, as Destiny whispers the secret that they are meant to be in our life forever.  At times we just know ‘it’ at the first sight of them or through a bonding conversation.  From there we cannot imagine life without them as we find ourselves feeling a sense of completeness with our other half by our side.  Although, life isn’t always fair.  People come and go.  No rhyme nor reason will explain why…but time will.  Over time we can see all of the answers that we spent sleepless nights and tears searching for.  The answer is that sometimes we need these people in our lives to guide us along our path and sometimes those people need us to do the same for them

We really don’t think of it like that often, do we?  That we come into another’s life to help him/her finding what they are looking for; to help them grow along their journey.  Perhaps they needed someone like you to inspire and/or encourage them to keep fighting for what they want.  Maybe you met them to introduce them to the love of their life.  Fate does exist.  People are meant to be together- in whatever context you like to believe in.  However, it’s not always the way you think it should go.

Once upon a time, I met a guy that I believe(d) was my fate, my destiny, my everything happens for a reason.  I waited patiently and very, very impatiently for years, believing that we were meant to be and therefore, time will bring us together again- somehow, someday.  I fought the pains that showed me that he (us) was what I really wanted.  But now, I foolishly admit that I really may have had it wrong all along.  Instead I contemplate the real reason he first entered my life many years ago.  Maybe, just maybe, he came into my life to remind me of where I came from?  Or maybe, just maybe, I came into his life to remind him?

all you need is your girl friends   3 comments

Let me first say that I spent my lunch break beginning a post highlighting my thoughts on this Moan-day.  To put it best, today was not my day.  But I’ve had many days like this to learn that you really do have to experience bad days like this one in order to appreciate the good that life brings our way…and it really does.  This evening is one perfect example, and it’s all centered around the beauty that comes in the form of girl friends. 

Stef and Rory, two of my saints here in Chicago, saved me from having an emotional breakdown this evening by providing me with quality girl time.  Mix in some “Chicagoans are crazy” talk, a Mystic Tan, and some Starbucks, and I seriously felt 1000x better.  Thank you so much, ladies!!  To make it even better, I had another great conversation with Stef back at my apartment that had me feeling that I’m okay here.  I really am. 

After Stef left, I immediately received a text from my friend, Carrie, who I called back to discuss her & her husband’s upcoming trip to Chi next weekend.  (Cubs’ game, here we come!)  Afterwards I called Kristin, who answered the phone, “What are you doing calling?  The Bachelorette is on.”  I couldn’t stop laughing.  And then, she told me that her husband, Jim, was watching it.  I lost it completely. 

Add in a love Facebook posting from Adriana saying exactly what I needed to hear: A reminder: You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.  And then a “meet my new friend who moved to Chicago” message from Jen.  Topping of the evening, I just got another message from Alisha reminding me that she is my sister and therefore, always there for me. 

Now I sit here, smiling- which I didn’t think was possible a few hours ago- as I think about the other fantastic girl friends that I have in my life.  Darlene for her constant love and support.  Ruth & Sarah for teaching me that your girl friends always have your back.  Libby, Julie & Jen, who remind me that time and distance never changes the bond between best friends.  That you have the opportunity to know someone will be your friend forever in just a few seconds, like I knew with Laura. 

For me, life has never been about having a boyfriend.  Sure, it would be nice but it’s never been a priority.  I’ve learned to live life without a boyfriend, to the point where I’m not sure if I know how to live with one.  However, a life without girl friends is a life not worth living.  My friends are the reason that I am who I am today.  No matter how bad my day is, I still find myself remembering how blessed I am to have these girls in my life

I’ve always had difficulty opening up to others and letting them be there for me.  I have a naturally tendency to what to be the one giving and never the one receiving.  But I simply need to be the recipient sometimes.  I need to rely on others to help me through my rough days.  I’ve come a long way to realize this, but now that I have there’s really no turning back.  I can only go forward, and as I do so I know that my friendships will only grow stronger.

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive.  ~Anäis Nin

june series: because my heart is in ohio   Leave a comment

As mentioned in a previous post, I am going to divulge the details from my past, well since graduating high school, up until this point.  This June marks my 4th anniversary as an Ohio U alum, and therefore I feel the need to look back on all of my Junes, beginning with June 2002- when I graduated from my alma mater, Hampton High School. 

Adventure must start with running away from home.  (William Bolitho)

June 2007 : My dream of moving to Columbus, OH finally came true!  After a year of living in Pittsburgh and selling my soul to The Cheesecake Factory (with I somewhat enjoyed), I accepted an AmeriCorps position in Columbus at a non-profit organization, Children’s Hunger AllianceShout out to my CHAers! 

Since my friend, Tony, was looking for a new apartment at the time, we decided to live together.  Sidenote: Tony and I were once kinda-sorta friends with benefits back in college, but I knew that the roommate line would not be crossed.  (And it never once was, thank you very much.  Will power.)

Anyways, looking back I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I was excited about the job and the opportunity to move to Columbus, just the same.  It was my first big girl job, of course I was naive.  Working for a non-profit that helped kids sounded like a dream come true to me.  It was through this position that I was introduced to Action for Healthy Kids, as my main role was to support the infrastructure of Ohio AFHK.  I loved the role and the people who I worked with at CHA and OAFHK. 

Everything really came together for me fairly quickly, and that has a lot to do with a few friends of mine.  Kristin and Jim, the newlyweds, took me under this wing and showed me around town.  Jim also took it upon himself (with encouragement from Kristin, of course) to set me up.  After a few blind dates/ set-ups, he learned that it was not an easy task.  (Sorry, Jim.)  I had so much fun with them tha summer as we ventured to the Jazz & Rib Fest, Rascal Flatts at the Ohio State Fair (after many margaritas and more), Miranda Lambert and Toby Keith concert (courtesy of CHA), and many late nights at Nyho’s and the Arena District.

This lovely girl, Sarah, is another God-sent friend of mine that helped me adjust and enjoy my time in Columbus.  There is really not enough time or space to write about Sarah.  She’s wonderful!  Sarah brings out a different side of me which allows me to just be free.  There’s no rulebook with Sarah, and usually there is a lot of alcohol during my times with her as well.  We had a lot of fun, that’s all that matters.  (Don’t judge.)  

Moving to Columbus allotted me the opportunity to reconnect with Julie- thanks to Facebook.  Julie, my dear friend from Kent State, was fortunately living back in C-bus with her parents.  I can still remember driving to her house the Sunday afternoon of our fateful reunion!  In a way I was nervous, knowing how much I’d changed since Kent and worrying if she had too.  Of course we had changed!  We were nineteen years old back then, but luckily we were able to pick up right where we left off.  I’m just so glad I got her back in my life!

While living in Columbus gave me the opportunity to connect with college friends, I was also blessed to make many new friends as well.  The summer of 2007 was one of my favorites.  I was so happy to be back in Ohio, and Columbus really felt like home to me.     

Song of the Moment: It Feels Like Home to Me- Chantal Kreviazuk

Sidenote: If you ever have the opportunity to see Miranda Lambert in concert, GO!  Trust me. 

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June 2008: This summer was a lot different from the one proceeding it, and can be explained best by one simple word: Anxiety.  With my AmeriCorps term and lease ending, I was forced to make many decisions.  Where was I going to live?  Should I stay in Columbus?  What am I going to do for income?  Where am I going to work?  I spent a lot of my non-working hours at work, either doing work work or personal work (researching jobs, apartments, and who the heck knows what else.)   On top of all of this I should add that work was insane for me during this time, and I’ll just leave it at that.  Those who know me, know the rest. 

You know what, I’m not going to ramble on with stories from this time.  As you know I’ve been honest about my past struggles and when I say anxiety, I mean cannot sleep-cannot think straight anxiety.  It was bad, but at the time I didn’t realize just how bad it was.  My friends were worried about me and they didn’t even know the half of it- how I felt.  I felt horrible and I looked horrible.  I wasn’t me. 

My friends, April and Billie, really took care of me during that time.  I’m not used to showing my weaknesses but felt comfortable enough doing so with them.  (Thank you both.)  I’ve just always been used to run away or hiding my pain, but this time was different.  I needed someone to be there for me.  I couldn’t shut the entire world out.  My other friends showed their support but I just couldn’t let them in.  I look back and regret it, but fortunately I learned a valuable lesson from my mistakes: If you have good enough friends who want to me there for you in times of struggles and ugliness, let them. 

I’m giving you the cliff notes version to help you understand what happened next.  As I said, I wasn’t myself during this time.  I wasn’t in the right state of mind to get there again.  After spending the summer panicking and running myself down trying to figure out just how I was going to stay in Columbus (where I wanted to be), I was introduced to a new opportunity: A job opening at Action for Healthy Kids in Chicago. 

Trust me, I thought about this for a day before confiding in anyone else- and only a few people for that matter.  I knew I had to take a chance on this, and I really didn’t have a choice.  Although it wasn’t out in the open, the recession had begun and 1-year as an AmeriCorps member translated into young and inexperienced.  Therefore, I applied and decided to ride this wave as far as it would lead me.  Additionally I made my friend Matt promise that he would make sure I said ‘yes’ if offered the position.  Well, you know the rest of the story.

Chicago was never in my plans.  Maybe part of a daydream about living in a big city but nothing more.  At the time I really believed that I’d be a Columbus resident for the rest of my life.  Now, two years later, I sit here wondering when I’ll more back there or if I ever will. 

Life is unpredictable.  That’s just one of the many things I’ve learned when this adventure began two years ago.  To this day, I know that I made the right decision in moving here.  It may not be perfect, but it’s been something I’ll always hold near and dear to my heart.  If I wouldn’t have seized this opportunity, I know that I would have always regretted it, wondering ‘what if’.  Do the thing you’ll regret not doing, has become my motto and the reason I made the decision I did. 

 

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Why did I just spend so much time talking about my friends?  Because they are what Columbus was, and still is to me.  These lovely people made my year+ so memorable and they are the reason it was so difficult for me to leave.  Like Athens, Columbus isn’t just about the place but more about the people. 

twitter me this, twitter me that   Leave a comment

I swore I’d never do it.  Promised to stand strong and resist the pressures of my generation.  However, the day has come where the leader has become a follower.  I surrendered…  I am now on Twitter.  This letter “t” is my scarlet letter for trader.  The guilt is running through my veins…but let me explain my reasons, or rather my excuses.

For one, I promise you that I’m using it work purposes to promote my organization and our affiliate partners (such as the NFL and their PLAY 60 initiative).  Second, this social media phenomenon is not ending any time soon so why not just see what all the fuss is about.  Additionally, why not ‘stalk’ my favorite celebrities and hear all about their nonsense and rich, fancy lives.  And finally, I’m young, I’m single, I’m dedicated to trying new things…so why not?  @kristenieminnie

This is the first of two things (today) that I hold Ms. A(driana) responsible for.  And I can’t remember life before her name. 

The second way that A corrupted my life is, well my own fault mainly, but I got a new cell phone today…on pure impulse.  Since I didn’t bring my gym clothes to work today, I headed directly back to my apartment, especially since I got out of work later today.  I texted my dear friend on the way home about something else, adding a random question to see what phone we recently purchased.  Still not sure why my fingers typed that question on my old, scratched up phone.  But they did and the rest is history…

TA-DA.  Meet my new phone, the Eris Droid.  As Adriana said, “Phone Twins.”  Actually they are like bf-gf because my cover is blue and hers is pink. 

Gosh, Twitter and a new cell phone in one day.  What a day!  Actually it’s funny because Kristin said in an email today, with regards to our discussion about many things surrounding my need for a change, that I should either get a new job or a puppy.  Well getting a puppy is a little bit more realistic probably, but instead I’ll stick with the new phone for now.  Does anyone else have a Droid?  It’s going to take me a few days to get used to it, but I already feel like I made the right move.  Now if only I could figure out how to download my infamous Sex and the City theme song as the ringtone for my ladies then I’d be set…well sorta.

Apparently today is Wednesday.  Wednesday night, to be exact.  At this time tomorrow night I will be on my way to Columbus, OH via the lovely vehicle known as Megabus.  OMG.  I haven’t even finished packing yet!  While I started on Sunday when I got back from Memphis, I haven’t done anything since then.  On that note, and the fact that it’s 11 pm CT, I should probably sign off here and either pack or go to bed.  But will I?  New phone and new Twitter account, plus email messages to respond to…probably unlikely.  How am I still awake?

Actually much to my own surprise, work wasn’t that bad today.  If anything it went by very quickly as the day was filled with meetings and impromptu calls.  Life at AFHK is far from perfect, but I got some advice from my brother last night that reminded me that I need to ‘make the best of the situation and concentrate on enjoying it’.  Last night I thought it was bogus advice, but after a fresh start this morning I realize he was right.  Thanks, Nick. If I learned anything from today it’s that something a change is necessary…and sometimes it’s a change in attitude that is needed.

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‘Twitter is over capacity’ error message?  Say what?  I do love the whale…long story about Sarah and my little whale-collection hobby…but seriously?  Maybe this is proof that my initial feelings about Twitter being ‘not for me’ were right all along.  Stick with your initial instict right?

june series: if you think you’re geting away, i will prove you wrong. i’ll take you all the way. stay another song   Leave a comment

As mentioned in last Tuesday’s post, I am going to divulge the details from my past, well since graduating high school, up until this point.  This June marks my 4th anniversary as an Ohio U alum, and therefore I feel the need to look back on all of my Junes, beginning with June 2002- when I graduated from my alma mater, Hampton High School.

One morning in June 2005 I sat in the Convo and watched these girls say goodbye to their college days in their caps and gowns.  While I watched these girls, who had become sisters to me, I was overcome with a surplus of emotions- one being pride.  I was so happy to share this moment with my friends.

Another thought crossed my mind as I sat in peanut-heaven taking in the graduation scenario: This was going to be me down there, in my cap and gown, in exactly one year.

These four girls, Kristin, Ruth, Sarah, and Carrie, came into my life during my junior year at OU- shortly after my 21st birthday.  They are also known as the “Lancaster Girls” and my Sex and the City ladies too.  I also hold them responsible for corrupting me- all in good fun of course.  And speaking of fun, we sure had a lot of good times! during our many, many nights with up on Court Street. 

June 2005 marked the end of another great year at OU, and was the beginning of many changes for me.  These four ladies were not returning to Athens with me the following year, so I as proud as I was of them, I was certainly distraught wondering who I would be spending my time with.  Sure, I had my other friends- including Brandon, Libby, Mike, Jackie, etc.- but I literally spent most of my time with these four ladies.  Like I said, they were sisters to me.  Those four girls, and Jackie too, taught me to be strong; to be confident; to believe in myself; to be who I am.  They showed me that you always look out for your girl friends, no matter what, and that your girl friends are your real soulmates.  They helped me see that I was beautiful just the way I am, flaws and all.

Even before the girls graduate, I began thinking, what am I going to do (next year) without them?  I couldn’t imagine my life without them.  My spring quarter literally revolved around them, as I’d wake up (usually hungover), go to class until noon (perfect college schedule), Sarah would pick me up and we’d go lay out, then get ready to head out for another night on Court Street.  I was living the College Dream…or so I thought.

One night, before heading back to Pittsburgh, Sarah and I began the night pre-gaming in my house before meeting the others up on Court Street.  (Honestly, I cannot even remember who we met since most people had already gone home for the summer.)  I have one thing to say about that night, and a whole lot of regrets: Bacardi 151.  The rest of the night is very blurry, but one thing I kinda-sorta remember is being at The Junction believing that I was talking to my new roommate Jay (and a girl ‘he’ was with).  It wasn’t until the next morning, after waking up next to Sarah on our front porch, that I thought, Jay doesn’t have a short ponytail so that couldn’t have been him.  That night changed it all.  For the rest of the summer, I swore off drinking to cut out all the BS and distractions that accompany alcohol.  I finally recognized that I had gotten too caught up in the OU party scene and all I really had to remember it by was the hot mess that had become my life. 

For many reasons, including the one I just mentioned, my anxiety levels were skyrocketing during the summer of 2004.  After being home in Pittsburgh for the remainder of June and beginning of July, working for Kraft (my dad’s employer), I began summer session in Athens…while still working for Kraft.  Let me simplify that.  On Sunday night, I drove to Athens, OH to play student for the week and then as soon as class ended on Thursday afternoon, I drove back to Pittsburgh, PA to play Kraft summer employee.  I’m not going to complain, but yes, it was exhausting. 

Despite the back-and-forth, I had an A.MAY.ZING. summer- when I was in Athens.  It was during that summer that I truly fell in love with my college town.  I felt so content and at peace during this time, like the campus was mine.  It was a great change from the usual chaos that consumed Athens during the school year. 

I did a lot of thinking that summer, some prompted by the two English courses I was enrolled in and the fabulous professor that is Jeremy Webster.  Other thoughts were provoked from spending time with the Rebecca, Karrie, and Dusty.  It was so nice to spend more time with them, without any other distractions getting in the way.  

My time in Athens that summer also allotted me time with the always-fabulous and entertaining Joe Zummo.  After he’d talk to his girlfriend, Renee, on the phone, Joe would head over (sometimes with a 6-pack) and we’d sit on the 10 Hocking porch and talk about everything and nothing at all.  Some days he’d just tell me one popsicle joke after another, and other days he’d open up about how his hopes for the coming school- one being to become better friends with the beloved Casey.  To be honest, I wanted that for him too. 

Part of me didn’t want that summer to end, for a few reasons.  While I was anxious for my friends to arrive and enjoy my new Athens with me, I also recognized that it meant I would be one day closer to the end of my OU days as graduation became more real to me. 

No matter what, Senior Year was another A.MAY.ZING. time at OU for me.  New roommates (Jay, Mike, and Amanda) brought about many new friends (Ashley, Jenni “BaFaFa”, Jenny- just to name a few), and of course I was lucky to still have some of my favorites like Libby, Brandon, Mike, and Phill still there with me.

This is another time in my life that I wish I could get back.  Re-do senior year at OU…YES, PLEASE!  I wish I knew then what I know now-thoughts constantly play in my mind.  I know I’d do things differently based on what I’ve learned since then, and who I am today.  For one I would have let that boy know exactly how I felt about him, once and for all.  And second, I would have switched over to that Child Life Specialist position.  These are just two of the things I know that I would have done, but what’s done is done.  I also wish I was strong back then; that I believed in myself more; and that I lived more freely without having any regrets.  Woulda, coulda, shoulda…

Even having to live with these regrets now, I am grateful for what I learned that summer.  For it is because of my experiences, my mistakes, and my woulda-coulda-shouldas, that I can look back today remembering how much I’ve grown since then, and how I’ll continue to seek to better myself each and every day.

You know people say how important a college education is, and I will not disagree.  However, a college education isn’t just what you learn from textbooks, research papers, and all-night cram sessions, but rather it’s what you learn about yourself that makes the experience worthwhile. 

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Notes: The title of this blog is lyrics from the song Murder on the Dance Floor, which is a favorite of these lovely Lancaster girl friends of mine.  Not only was it on The Pub Mix, but it was also dedicated to the OU girls at Kristin’s wedding. 

And the portait of Court Street above is wonderful and available for purchase.  Check out Ellen Pettey Photography at http://ellenpettey.com/ to order your own!  Look through her galleries for others that may interest you as well.