Saturday, October 28, 2006

Halloween 2006

Welcome to Mr. Roger's Neighborhood! <--
Sadly, this was not a good picture year. Perhaps it is due to a low level of enthusiasm, or perhaps I'm just all-around tired. However, I think this may be my best costume yet, so that almost balances out the poor pictures. Here's some evidence:



Wednesday, October 25, 2006

[Have I Frightened You?]

It occurs to me that perhaps I've been a little too forward with my emotions, doubts, and fears lately. Perhaps I've scared a few of you off, and I'm dreadfully sorry about that. The thing is, though, that I consider my blog somewhere to just spill my guts, whether my emotions are "right" or not. I hate the idea of pretending everything is all fine and dandy when I don't even know which way is up. By choosing to be forthright in my confessions, though, I think I may give the impression that I've lost my joy or that I've abandoned my faith; I have not done either. Let's make that clear.

I write about my doubts because they're real. They may indicate a lack of trust, and if they do, well, that's something I'm aware of and am trying to learn to overcome. Nevertheless, I do not choose to pretend everything is great so I look "okay". On the one hand, I'm fine, I really am. Even during my emotional breakdowns, I know that God is in control and has my (and more importantly, His) best interests in mind. But that does not prevent me from getting upset or frightented. I'm human, I'm loaded with estrogen and the like, and while my common sense assures me that I'm alright, my emotions stubbornly beg to differ.

I think that's why it bothers me when people try to reassure me with advice or by reminding me that there's no need to worry. I'm perfectly aware of these things, but my emotions don't really take that hint very well. I understand that those who reassure me are trying to help and I DO appreciate it, immensely. But trust me when I say that a rational voice is nothing but irritation to a worked-up soul.

Anyway, I wanted to clear that up. I don't want to scare you away, my readers; but at the same time, I will not hold back from expressing these emotions. I want--no, I need--to be real. If you have trouble with that, I am sorry. If you don't want to read anymore, I understand completely. I do hope that you will continue to read what I write, however. Just don't expect to figure me out just yet; I'm working on that myself.

[Career Woman... what?!]

Yahoo! Geocities hates me today. I just thought you should know that.

Anyway, I went to the Career Expo today. It's a little overwhelming, with all these booths crowded into the rooms, people shaking my hand before I even know what booth I'm looking at. And I felt weird... really weird. I wore a suit today, one of those uber-professional looking suits, and I felt like a small child playing dress up. I looked in the mirror before I left, and I saw this same face I've had for years stuck on top of a grown-up body wearing a suit. How did I get to this point? Now, the sensible side of me is telling me that this is okay, I'm 23 years old and an adult now; it's okay to look like an adult. But the me side of me says, "What the heck?!"

So weird.

Yeah, I don't have much more to say. I've got quite a pile of homework I need to take care of ASAP, so I'll leave you on that oh-so-tantalizing note.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

[Creative Writing Prompt]

Where do I see myself in a year?

You know, I used to love these prompts. As a child, I had grand dreams and goals planned out from my occupation to the day I would get married to the house I would live in. I was going to go to college for four years, graduate at the top of my class, make a million dollars right out of school, and get married shortly after my 22nd birthday. Instead, I've gone to school for four and a half years, I will graduate just shy of the 3.5 GPA mark (a concept that would've horrified me at 12 years old), make 20,000 a year if I'm lucky, and I'm a year past my marriage date and I've yet to date a single person.

That was the cool thing about being a kid. I could make the minutest plans and they, as far as I was concerned, were completely within reach... especially since it was still ten or twenty years away. Now even thinking about where I'll be in as little as a year is unthinkable and terrifying.

I suppose it comes with maturity. As you get older, your ideals of the world being in your grasp fade into reality. It's one thing to dream of graduating from a top-notch university with a 4.0 grade point average; achieving that level of perfection is a whole other story.

I have no real expectations for this time next year. I have a few hopes, such as being settled in a job, owning a small house that needs a lot of work, and making enough money to pay all my bills and to let me buy an occasional DVD. Past that, I dare not think. And dating? I'm just trying not to get my hopes up.

Monday, October 23, 2006

[Overwhelming Uncertainty]

Knowing that pretty much every time I write on here in the midst of a nervous/emotional breakdown I end up regretting it, I'm writing anyway. I need to get it all off my chest before I burst.

I'm scared. Right or wrong, faithful or faithless, I'm scared. I'm scared I'm going to fail. I'm scared that everything I've done these past four and a half years is useless. I'm scared that I'm going to find myself alone. I'm scared that I'll spend the rest of my life in a job that sucks my soul dry. I'm scared of it all. I've got this overwhelming sensation that I'm going to screw up everything I try to do.

All my life, I've worked to overcome obstacles so I could live "normally." All I've ever really wanted was a complete life, full of those things that bring others joy (and pain). I'm willing to brave a broken heart to have known a little romance (but I've never gotten the chance yet). I realize I'm young, but I hate that I keep hoping for something that may never happen, and even if it does, will never completely fulfill me. I hate that while I believe in Jesus with all my heart and soul that I'm too much of an idiot to trust Him explicitly.

I also hate that whenever I do one of these vents, someone, instead of letting me have my cry, tries to comfort me with platitudes. They always mean the best, but the truth is, it feels like an attack, like they refuse to validate my very real hurts and fears. Dammit, I can't be happy all the time. I'm too human, and I get scared. Please don't tell me I'm doing something wrong. Whether it's true or not, it is NOT the right thing to say. Just because I'm scared or overwhelmed does not mean I don't believe. Even though I'm crying and trembling, I still have joy. I have not forgotten that. But joy and happiness are not synonymous. They never have been.

Right now, I don't need criticism; I need affirmation. All your criticism, however good-intentioned, only makes it worse. Trust me on this.

It feels like whatever decision I make, I let someone down.

I need to move on, to get on to the next phase, but all the same, the next phase has me petrified. My faith tells me that no matter what, God will put me where He wants me to be... and His will is perfect. And I do believe it. But that does not take away the fear.

I hate this not knowing. In six months, I'll look back and wonder why the hell I was so freaked out, but in six months, that's the thing: I'll be looking BACK. All my knowledge of this time and the near future will have the striking advantage of hindsight. Up until now, even when things down the road were quite uncertain, I at least had an inkling of my next step. But right now, I feel like I'm groping in the dark, unsure if there are spiders or a light switch up ahead. The only thing I'm fairly certain of is that I will graduate with a BA in English from Truman State University on December 16, 2006, and whatever happens next is, well, alone. I can't help but think that if I were taking this step with someone tangible, I'd feel a lot less scared. I know God's got my back, front, and sides, I really do, but nonetheless, I'm scared.

I know it's normal not to have any idea. For once I'm "normal" and it's no amount of comfort. Ironic, isn't it?

I've vented now, and I don't know how clearly I've explained my state of heart and mind. Either way, I've gotten some of it off my chest, and hopefully I'll fall asleep now.

Thanks for listening. Sometimes, that's what I need, no more and no less. That, and a hug.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

[Twitchy Niki]

With job searching no longer on the horizon but rather now here, at hand, and urgent, as well as term paper season, portfolio organizing time, and rapidly approaching graduation, I am quite on edge. Time is taunting me with whispers of doom... it says, "Psst... if you don't find a job in the next month and a half, you're screwed! Doom! You'll have to move back home (doom!), and if you do that, you'll get stuck in Reeds Spring forever! Doom!" Not exactly logical, I know, but agitating nonetheless.

So, dear readers and beloved friends, I am apologizing ahead of time. If you find me snappish, unsocial, dazed, abrupt, temperamental (already, signs of this one), acting like a loner, hiding from the world, putting up walls around my heart in order to be prepared to break away from the place that's been more of a home than any other for a long time, I sincerely apologize. I swear, it's not you. Don't mistake my short temper with not liking you, because I do like you. I just feel like a ticking time bomb, and with everything I have to do, it's probably not going to change until after I walk across the stage to get my degree. Maybe longer. So please, I beg of thee, have patience with my shenanigans. The pressure has to release somehow, and sometimes it's not in the most pleasant manner.

I still love you.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

[My First Abstract Painting]


I've never really done an original abstract painting before, so this is my first attempt.
Now, before I tell you all what it's about, I'd like to hear what you think. Do your own little art critiquing thing where you tell me what you think it represents (be specific if you like).

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

[The Fowarding Epidemic]

Before you next forward a letter that makes whatever various claim (however plausible it may sound), do a background check first. Do your part to stop annoyance in its tracks!

~ For info on CHAIN LETTERS, check out this great description of chain letters: http://www.cs.rutgers.edu/~watrous/chain-letters.html

~ For info on URBAN MYTHS/SCAMS, check out: Urban Legends Reference Pages: http://www.snopes.com
Internet ScamBusters: http://www.scambusters.org

~ For info on VIRUS HOAXES, check out: Computer Virus Myths: http://www.vmyths.com/ AntiVirus Research Center: http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/hoax.html

And yes, I shall fill you in on birthday details. I'm taking a rain check until at least Thursday night. Sigh, midterms.

Monday, October 02, 2006

[Birthdays]

I'll be 23 in a week. Already.



Yeah, ok, that's all I got. The rest of my writing energy is reserved for my senior seminar writing project.