Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Okay

"I think that if I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won't tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn't change the fact that they were upset.  And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn't really change the fact that you have what you have.  Good and bad.  Just like what my sister said when I had been in the hospital for a while.  She said that she was really worried about going to college, and considering what I was going through, she felt really dumb about it.  But I don't know why she would feel dumb.  I'd be worried, too.  And really, I don't think I have it any better or worse than she does.  I don't know.  It's just different.  Maybe it's good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there.  Like Sam said.  Because it's okay to feel things.  And be who you are about them."

-Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, pg. 211-212

Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer above the Sea of Fog

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Over the Whelm

While carpooling to work today, I became embroiled in one of those retrospective conversations.  The topic on today's menu?  College.  As my carpooling compatriot and I swapped stories from the underbelly of our undergraduate years, told stories of nightmare professors and all-nighters, something happened.  My heart gained weight, became a grenade with the pin half-pulled, ready to either explode or lie dormant.

I'm pretty sure this image is from Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life, the first book in the series.

The wheels are in motion for me to go to grad school.  Applications are in order or almost in order. I've detached from Seattle and allowed myself to experience the sweet taste of wanderlust, my feet and possessions becoming eager to see a new location.  I've made my intentions clear at work, gently side-stepping possible/likely job advancements.  And I'm ready.  I'm ready to push my life further.

But then.  The memories of being a student.  The apathetic lethargy that came with my university experience. The feelings of being drained, being frustrated, being uninspired.  One of the things that encouraged me to return to school was a recent burst of inspiration, a desire to investigate things, to create things.  I'm starting to worry that school will once again sap me of passion.

So yeah.  Tl;dr (which means too long; didn't read for all you non-Reddit initiated folk)(I learned Reddit abbreviations recently and I'm really excited about it, that's all)(no judgement)?  Blah blah blah nervous fear blah.

Luckily I've found solace by looking at pictures of deserts, listening to this ad nauseum, and watching a whole ton of this:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

One of THOSE Things

I fought against doing a "year wrap up" post.  And I'm not sure you can call this one, considering that January is halfway over.  But after doing some kind of glance back for the past two years (2010 and 2011), I've decided I like the closure.  I have always enjoyed looking at my yearly progression, and although the urge to look towards the past typically comes to me in the fall, the start of a new year is just too crisp and clear and convenient to resist.

Typically, I hate Christmas and December with the fury of five thousand burning meteors.  Want proof?  Try this article, written for my high school newspaper:
Behold, the cleverness of high school Cat.

That writing is so convincing I almost hate Christmas again.  But not this year!  This year was full of warmth and joy and muppets and happiness and the first real Christmas tree I've had in years.  I even had a nephew in town to help decorate it.  That seemed to start the holiday off right, and it just snowballed from there.

See what I did with the word "snowballed"?  So holiday appropriate!  And punny.

So final verdict:  Good on ya, Christmas.  I'll keep you around for now.

And now, a rundown of stuff I did in 2012:
  • Moved to Seattle.  Fell in love with Seattle.  Became very snooty about how awesome Seattle is.
  • GOT MARRIED.  Yep,  That's right.  You can just go home everyone, I win.  No one else did anything as impressive or monumental or as fulfilling of life as I have, now that I have my very own person trapped with me forever.  Though, in all honesty, marriage is awesome and I highly recommend it.
  • Applied for a ton of jobs.
  • Was hired and worked at two different jobs: first as a tutor at a company that may or may not have made me racist, second at a private school that has helped me learn what I want to do with my life.
  • Rediscovered my love of cooking, especially in finding and trying out new recipes.  Ask me about what I can do with a sweet potato.
  • Turned 23, going on 35.  I still can't believe I'm that young.
  • Used my Batman lunchbox.
  • Watched waaaay too many Rifftrax.  My favorites are this, this and this.
  • Went to a select few, quality concerts: Andrew Bird, Jack White, and the most delightfully intimate house show with Jeremy Messersmith.
  • Made my own family traditions.  That's pretty neat.
  • Ate cupcakes.  Am still undecided between Trophy Cupcakes and Cupcake Royale.
  • Went to Spiral Jetty FINALLY.  And with some delightful Mary and Rosemary.
  • Had a dream vacation with Taylor, visiting family in New York, then hopping over to the Baltic's to see Taylor's mission in Latvia and Estonia, and rounding it all out with some time in St. Petersburg.
  • Started a new Thanksgiving tradition--watching The Crucible.
  • Read many, many comic books.  My favorites are American Vampire, Batman: The Black Mirror (both by Scott Snyder), and Blankets by Craig Thompson. 
  • Dyed my hair!  And not just the couple streaks, like last year.  The whole, entire head of hair a burgundy color.  It's pretty hardcore--I look like I should be wearing black leather and hunting vampires.  Which is one of my dream jobs, so I suppose it fits.
  • Decided to go to graduate school fall 2013.
It was a wonderful year. One of the best in recent memory.  That's really all I have to say about that.

It's not a new year unless I make progress, and I want to track that progress.  A few months ago, I had this epiphany.  And I realized that the only thing preventing me from doing stuff is me.  If I want to do something, I need to go ahead and do it.  So that's my vague, overarching thing I want to work on.  Be assertive.  Get stuff done.  There's nobody else to blame but me.  But here are some concrete things I'd like to achieve this year.  My "resolutions," if you're into that word (I, personally, am not).

1.  Get published.  I don't care if it's for a website or a weekly or what, but I want to submit my writing someplace and have other people publish it.
2.  Get into grad school.  Please oh please let this happen.
3.  Stop eating the food in the faculty room.
4.  Keep track of the media I consumed.  Consume more media.  This includes tracking my movies, TV shows, and books.
5.  As part of the accountability for the above goal, I'm going to write reviews for every book I read.  Every.  Single.  Book.  Even the crappy, shameful YA books I sometimes read.  If you want to follow along with this journey, check me out on Goodreads.