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A new chapter?

In the last week or so, when people ask the typical small talk questions (What’s up? What’s new? How’s it going? etc.), I don’t really have much to say. In July I let myself spin out of control and crash on the pavement a bit. And now. Well. I’m over it. Every so often I let a couple things cross my mind and let myself feel a temporary jolt of jealousy, anger, or fear. But, for the most part, yes, I’m over it. And being over it feels kind of “blank”. I feel like I don’t have many feelings right now. It’s like I’m in the boring exposition of a new story. Sometimes in these cases, I have some idea of where I want this new chapter (or book? I don’t know how exactly my life is organized in book metaphor world) to go. In this case however, I don’t even have the makings of a book jacket figured out. I’m just kind of  hovering, waiting around for some stimulus to start some kind of reaction or direction in me.

I find these times are good for really working on self improvement and going after goals that have been on the back burner for a while. And I’m tentatively starting that journey. Or, at least thinking about it ;). I want something to happen. But, I think I have to start doing stuff and stop waiting. Waiting feels so empty.

Some things that are crossing my mind are going ‘balls to the walls’ on the whole triathlon goal. I keep going in spurts of discipline and indifference. Imagine what I could do if this became a real priority instead of a pipe dream?

Another goal is to get better at being a host and planning fun-tivities. I’m starting that one tonight by having people over for a little wine/painting party. I’ve decided to call this event “A Night of Pretention.” There will even be people around to jam on their guitars.

Another goal (or dream because it seems so impossible) is to reduce my caffeine dependence. During my qualifying exam period I let myself fall a little deeper in this addiction, and even know my head is ouchy and cloudy from wanting more than I let myself have. It’s so hard to quit when I feel like this. But, I want it….I just don’t want the weeks of zombie bitch Karen that will come with it.

I guess, this is a start. But even this doesn’t leave me feeling super perky and excited. Meh. Hopefully this ‘story’ picks up soon : ).


On July

There’s no real delicate way to put this: July has been a pretty shitty month for the Karen. Lots of small things, a couple medium things. Disappointments. I feel like I had a pretty delusional idea of where things were headed in my life and then a lot of those things got shaken up. I’m trying to cling to my faith, and take comfort in the fact that there’s a better plan (ie God’s plan) that will make the things I wanted seem uber lame years from now. I’m trying to act like a lady who has  faith and not let fears and doubts bubble up to the surface of  my mind. I know I have more than everything I need to deal right now and be happy. I hate when I get in these seasons where I just feel like stuff is screwed up and I have a hard time accepting it. I keep looking back. I keep picking the scab. Insert more metaphors.

I think it’s human nature to do these things. Even so, I am mad at myself for not totally just accepting the peace my faith can give me/has given me. I feel that peace for a while and then just decide that … peace is boring, I guess, and lose it for a bit. I let myself sink into a negative emotion because part of me just…doesn’t want to move on? It doesn’t make sense, but I can feel it happening.

My professional life is going pretty awesomely right now actually. It’s the other things that have some bumps in the road. I have lots of great friends who I don’t think I deserve half the time. I just want more. And, I consciously know it’s dumb and I should just relax and live in the moment. But, I want more just the same. I want to flip a few chapters in my story to double check that this new path I’m on is pretty good. Unfortunately, that’s not what faith is. I have to slowly read this story line by line and believe that the ending will be worth the chapter of conflict I’m in right now.

My past has taught me that this is generally the case. But all the same – when you are in these chapters it’s hard to ride it out. I feel restless. I feel impatient. I feel disappointed.

And…I feel bad for feeling bad. I really am blessed. A homeless guy on my street has asked me to give him something to eat a couple times this past week. How can I feel so bummed when I have more than enough to eat all the time? I mean, my apartment is burning up right now, but all in all my life is pretty friggin comfortable.

I try to avoid posts like this here in my happy blog space. But, I think I just want to start being totally real, and use this blog to be whatever I want it to be. And right now I just need to vent a bit and just be human. I know things will get better.

An interlude at home

So, I’m back in WV for a few days, and honestly, I’m quite bored at the moment. That’s the con to being an extrovert. I really thrive by being around people. And, there’s not a whole lot of that right now. Most of my home town peeps are elsewhere at the moment. I usually try to plan my trips home to get me the most bang and see lot of people, but that didn’t work out so well this time. I have a wedding to go to tomorrow, which should be fun. It’s actually been 6 months to the day since I’ve last made the trip home. I’m pretty sure this is the longest period of time to date that I’ve stayed away. I actually think this is a really good sign. I’m laying down roots, enjoying my new life in C-ville, and feeling less need to escape to the familiar.

My parents are good people, but we don’t really have much in common. Sometimes that feels isolating. But, I’ve learned in the last year or so to really manage my expectations and not get too worked up about not having the same kind of familial relationships other people have. My relationship with my mom has slowly gotten better over the last several years and my relationship with my dad will probably never be fully what I want. I used to think he didn’t care, but I think he just shows it in different, non-obvious ways like…washing my car this morning!

My parents will likely never get me. Never get why I want to spend so many years in school, why I want to be a vegetarian, or work out so much, or keep myself so busy, or run off to live in cities. But, I appreciate all they gave me to get me here to the person I am today. While I feel like I have pretty much nothing in common with most of my family, I know they gave me a lot, and always have my back. This is a lot more than most people can say. So I guess I’ll get over the fact we are not going to hang out much or talk every day on the phone about personal things in my life.

Being at home makes me realize how much I miss living in such a nice house. I forgot water pressure could be so intense and amazing. And air conditioning…ohhhhh air conditioning! Ice machines. and Washer and drier on site. So good.

Being in Charleston makes me miss Charlottesville. I love how health conscious the city is. Charleston is bigger and also surrounded by mountains, but Charlottesville is more full of life and vim. I’m so glad I live there. Being away this time makes me realize that somewhere in the last 6 months it really became my home and a part of me. I love it.

Well, tomorrow is a wedding of a friend from high school! Man, we are totally old enough for these adult things. I guess I feel that way, but at the same time I still feel like a kid :).

Saturday musings of the concussed

Being alone drives me crazy.

I’m a total extrovert. I don’t know how obvious it is, because I’m a shy extrovert, but I thrive when people surround me.

After spending 3 days in ‘captivity’ in my room, I’m slowly going insane. I feel restless. I feel like I’m wasting my life. I know this is totally an over reaction, but, ALAS! Here we are.

Sometimes I also struggle with the fact that this blog is not anonymous. It makes me bite my tongue (or fingertips?) in a lot of instances. It makes me be vague when I don’t want to be. While maybe it makes me less entertaining, it’s probably good I only write things that are fit for the world to see. I can’t really think of that reason right now, but it’s a general feeling I have. I do think it makes me be less emo (more sunny) to have my identity stamped to my ramblings.

I have a total crush on this guy, ya know. He keeps intruding my thoughts today. I keep thinking of the last time I saw him and he hugged me, and I wish it could have lasted longer. I’m REALLY not a huggy person, but I could get used to his. I keep thinking about how he is a genuinely nice guy…how I notice sweet things about him that I wish I could tell him without sounding like a blubbering idiot. I love how he makes an effort to connect to new people even though sometimes I have a tiny pang of jealousy when he does. I love when he smiles at me, or laughs at me from across the room when I have a clumsy/awkward moment. Yes, I have a crush, and I think he does too…I just wish something would start happening there. Maybe it has, and in a few months I’ll read this post again and laugh to myself. I just get frustrated sometimes not being able to see inside his head. And, I guess I’m scared too.

I wish I could dance tonight, but I should do the smart thing and continue to rest and protect my brain. God knows I have few physical talents to offer to the job market. I plan on breaking bank with my brain, so I should take care of her. Ahhh, responsibility!

Hope you are are having exciting memorial day weekends 😛


Restless in C-ville.

Thoughts post Turk Mountain Hike

Dear Blog world,

Hello! Despite my best intentions I have abandoned you this year. It’s semi-ironic really – I started this blog because I wanted to change my life in 2010. And, I did. I really did. I feel like a totally different person than I was a little over a year ago. In fact, I think it’s so amazing I would talk anyone’s ear off about it if they would let me. And if I could summarize the things that have made me change the most, it would be throwing myself into situations that I never thought I’d be able to get to the other side of before (Ex: Newbie bike rider vs. 1000 feet ascent). I think it’s forcing yourself to try things that seem impossible and then coming out on the other side that changes you from the inside out. It’s made me a much more confident and happy person and better able to go after what I want.

So it’s for this reason I like ‘extreme’ workouts. And this past weekend I went on a kind of extreme hike. This hike was easily 2.5 times the length of the longest hike I’d ever been on before. It was a 10.5 mile 2400 ft. ascent hike in shenandoah national park. Much like that fateful august 1 bike ride, there was a point halfway up that mountain that I really just didn’t think I could take anymore of it, and the end seemed no where in sight. My quads burned, I was hot, dripping with set, and my heart was pounding. But, you know what, I did it and this view was my reward:

Don’t you wish you could eat lunch there every day?!

Some good things about going on that long of a hike (~5 hours), is that you really get a good ‘real world’ detox by the end of it. It’s a great mental cleanse. And this hike was pretty solitude-licious, which is good for even the extrovert like me every so often.

The most fun part of this hike were the stream crossings. The friend I went with had to work together to get to the other side (it’s a good thing we’re both dancers). It was nice little problem solving and trust building exercise.

But anyway, I think I have a new addiction forming. My legs killed me the next couple days, but I think that just makes me want to go on another long hike soon even more. When you work out hard, the muscles you’re using break themselves and rebuild over the next couple days – stronger than before. I think that happens with your mind too – every time you push your limit an inch or two more. You keep building yourself back up stronger than before. I really think that’s been the key to my success post 2010, and I look forward to continuing to redefine just what I’m capable of : ).

Anyway, I look forward to trying to blog more regularly now that classes are more or less over. I’ve actually been quite busy this past semester – getting involved in a few new things. I look forward to dishing soon! ❤

A Birthday Story

I hate planning things. And I guess as I side note, I’m totally insecure about things. Whatever ‘things’ are. I think that’s just a typical girl thing, but at the same time I hide and fight my insecurities constantly. I like to think I surprise people when I am vulnerable enough to share them with others. Of course, I may totally be kidding myself on that one.

My birthday was this past week. The big 24! I’m like totally in my mid 20’s now. Aging is a pretty slow process, so I didn’t feel all of a sudden different to wake up on Monday and be 24…but it is odd. I feel like my life is nothing like I thought it would be at 24. I thought that when you were 24 you would be a real person. I still feel like a work in progress, and I like that most days. I’m starting to think maybe you never feel like a real person….you just get better at faking it around the younger masses.

But to relate paragraph 1 of this post to paragraph 2 in some way – I rarely do things for my birthday. My birthday usually falls before a midterm or during spring break when everyone’s gone. Also, I just hate planning. Planning makes me insecure. I care way too much about what everyone is thinking/feeling/reacting to something I planned to begin to enjoy myself. But, since I was studying for a midterm on my actual birthday this year I decided I should try to do something fun and planned a little get together of sorts at my place for this weekend.

After sending out the e-mail – I realized hardly anyone could come…or they just didn’t respond. And that kind of just made me feel like crap – more like crap than I’d like to admit. So I ended up canceling….thinking of going with a smaller plan….thinking about canceling all together? The devil just got all tangled and twisty in my brain. I’d thought things were going so much better here in my new hood. I’d thought that I had this awesome network of friends and here I was just feeling hurt, rejected, and just…well…more alone than I thought I was. The insecurity oozed out of me unencombered.

Things got tough and I retreated in my shell, feeling a little banged up and worse for the wear.

So I go to work Saturday, just kind of trying to forget about it all. And by the time I was about to leave I got a call from a friend here and the whole thing had just been replanned without me and was all taken care of…and people were going to be there. It was kind of like a surprise but not really because I planned it first surprise party or something. And another friend brought awesome wine and made cheese dip and a delicious cake. All of a sudden I felt so loved. The evening was great. People had fun. I had fun. And the wounds of doubt and angst were plugged up.

My birthday this year did make me realize that good/true friends are a rarity…but that I have them. And I am very blessed. Thank you to everyone who made me feel loved by sending greetings, making treats, and/or just being a light in my life.

2010 Reflections

I have kind of put off my new years reflections and goal setting this year. But, I definitely don’t want to let too much time go by without recording some of these thoughts, because 2010 was a life changing year for  me. I’d say the theme of 2010 was redefining myself and I hope the theme of 2011 is to push harder, and amplify these changes.

The end of 2009 was a pretty dark one for me. I’d moved to C-ville and had a lot of trouble finding close friendships like the ones I had in my sorority at Penn. I mean, I know finding a community takes time, but it took even longer than I had imagined. I felt all I really had going on was an awesome roommate that I secretly pined for. And, even that was slowly getting toxic as the weeks went on. I had a lot of freak accidents (concussion) and serious illnesses (chronic bronchitis and went to the ER again for a bad case of strep). Things were dark and I kind of just holed away in my room.

The beginning of 2010 was the catalyst I needed. I saw 2010 as this perfect new beginning. I remember smiling as I put my blank calendar up on the wall. I was going to work harder at getting out, trying new things and exploring, even if I was alone doing it. I started a running program, went to matinée movie screenings on the weekends, went to yoga class, studied in coffee shops, etc. Just being around people made a huge difference, even if they weren’t my friends really. And gradually over the beginning of the year things fell into place. I met a great community of grad students, joined a church group, and tried out a bunch of other new activities, some of which have sticked (running, biking, swimming) and some…well not so much (ultimate, kickball). The fitness and health changes just made me a more confident person that could fix (or handle) all the rest.

I say these things not to make you feel bad, but to get a hint of just how much this year really has meant to me, and how much my friends in c-ville mean to me. I was in a dark place and I am thankful every day to be where I am today.

Even so, I learned a lot in 2010. I learned the perils of love triangles, toxic and codependent relationships, getting attached to things that aren’t real, and again how impossible it is to stay friends with someone you once had feelings for. I learned that usually it works out for the best in the long run even when you don’t get what you want. I learned I could make smart last minute life or death decisions and handle adult stuff during my car accident. I’ve learned that I have amazing friends and everything I need for when I get into scrapes. I have friends who will rush to the scene after a car accident, spend half the day helping me fix a dead battery in my car, listen to me talk for hours about the same drama, pray for me, walk to my house to talk at ungodly hours when things go bad, drive me to the store when I don’t have my car for a month, and make me a Hannah Montana skirt for Halloween. And I hope I can be that friend in return.

At the beginning of 2010 I was doubting all my decisions that led me to C-ville and UVa and by the end I knew I was in the right place. That has been a great comfort to me.

So, last post I described my achievements this past year and today I documented what this past year meant to me. Next up (hopefully tomorrow) my goals for 2011 and some slight changes in focus for this blog.