Thankful Thursday (fifteen)

Thankful Thursday (fifteen)

I moved into my own apartment a little over a year ago (a tiny tour may be coming in the next week…)

My balcony happens to overlook my neighbors’ backyard. One day last summer it was hot and the AC in my apartment doesn’t do much so I was reading on the balcony. My neighbors happened to be out brewing beer. It was awkward.

Then they invited me over and it was super awkward.

And over the past year I became kind of friends with two of my neighbors. And then actual friends… I think (making friends is hard)

And I learned something. Neighbor-friends are awesome and I am thankful for mine.

Need a cheese grater? Call me, I got your back.

I need a food processor. Luckily you are generous and have one.

I’m supposed to make an apple cake for boss’s day tomorrow (not like actually tomorrow, but at the time it was tomorrow) but am missing an egg and it’s ten at night and in my pj’s, I don’t even need to put shoes on to get one.

My car broke down and I don’t have a way to get to work or I need a ride to church to take kids to camp; you’ll give me a ride, even though you literally can walk to work in like 30 seconds

I made two loaves of breads, a batch of cookies or some cake. I know you’ll enjoy it.

I grew up out in the country, I didn’t really have neighbors and I defiantly didn’t have neighbor-friends. But they are awesome, I am thankful for them and I hope I can be an equally good neighbor-friend.

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Sunday Project

Sunday Project

I had a nutrition quiz yesterday (48/50, woohoo!) afterwards I thought I deserved a break from schoolwork for a while, so I took a trip to the hardware store and finally bought some chalkboard paint. I always see fun looking projects on Pinterest and wanted to get in on the action. I bought a globe for a couple bucks at a yard sale close to a year ago, knowing I wanted to use it for some crafty purpose (I already have a globe that I put glittered pins in for all the places I’ve been)

Globe + Chalkboard paint = Chalkboard globe!

I thought about taking a “before” shot, the I remembered everyone knows what a globe looks like ( if you don’t, that is a bummer), but here are some pictures I did take!

The base was originally a weird clear-ish blue plastic, luckily I had some left over purple spray paint and primer so I could do away with that. I did about two coats and accidentally kicked my can of spray paint off the balcony while waiting for the first to dry… As it fell I was thinking ‘this will not end well.’ Somehow, it nicely landed standing up on a board in between the fence slats, what luck.
I painted half the globe, waited until it was dry to the touch, flipped it over and painted the other half, rinse and repeat.
When everything was dry to the touch I reassembled and put it back in its rightful spot atop the bookshelf

Easy peasy, perfect for a quick Sunday project.

I did have a quick intermission of going to look at a house with my neighbor-friend (my patio overlooks their backyard area so we have some nice chats from time to time. I also assured him that I saw this on the internet, so basically I am a professional globe painter) I would love to buy a house, so right now I am living vicariously through his house-buying endeavors.

The box said it would be chalkboard writable in (I think) two days, what should adorn my chalkboard globe with?

I bought the smallest can available of chalkboard paint, but I still have lots left, what other fun things should I use it for?

More Fun Sized Blogs

More Fun Sized Blogs

It’s time for everyone’s favorite fun sized blogs again! (no one told me this was their favorite, but that’s okay… I know)

Here are a few of the things that have been on my mind and have been occupying my time….

School

Two weeks away until the end of summer quarter and I am oh so excited.
One book to read, one movie to watch, five journal entries and one paper and Intro to Novel is done.
One assignment, two discussions, one quiz and one final and Nutrition 101 is done.

I am all registered for fall quarter. 17 credits in all, however I may drop my 2 credit class, even though it sounds really interesting and it is only offered in the fall. Despite my occasional complaining (usually on one aspect of school) I really enjoy school. Or at least I really enjoy learning things. I even made the Dean’s list for spring quarter

I have come to find that I really enjoy online classes, I have a much better handle on my time management and am able to do better work when I can view the PowerPoints or watch the videos on my time. There is one aspect of online classes that I am not a fan of though….

Group Projects

Seriously the worst thing ever. (actually my Nutrition project went very well, I was super impressed and surprised) My Intro to Novel group did not grasp the idea of deadlines, and now one is trying to blame me for one of her things not being done, even though I did 5 of the 9 items in our newspaper, along with editing and formatting the whole thing. Super awesome. (although, I just saw that one girl in my group is defending my work to the mean one, so that makes me feel better and less whiny about the whole thing)

Professors, teachers, all educational professionals why do you do this to us? It does not teach us responsibility or to work together, it teaches us to trust no one. Also, if I ignored deadlines like some of these people did, I would have been fired after one week at my job.

Blogging

The Tumblr version of aDifferentBrandOfCrazy turned two on Sunday! I am truly shocked there is still no one who wants to pay me for my sporadic writing. Truly shocked.

In honor of this most auspicious occasion. I am going to attempt to set my blogging schedule (I tried this before, it lasted all of 2.5 weeks, dedication) Mondays, Thursdays, the occasional Saturday (if I’m feeling crazy) My next goal is to put less things in parenthesis (just kidding) also, use more puns and continue to refuse to follow AP style (watch me spell out whatever numbers I want, two thousand thirty seven.5!)

Vacation!

Guess where I am going (in like seven weeks)…..

New England. One week on the other side of the country, spending time with one of my dearest friends who I don’t see nearly enough. Living on opposite sides of the country may have something to do with that, hmm.

New Hampshire (my boss said he never saw a person so excited about New Hampshire)…. Boston…. Cape Cod…. I can barely contain my excitement. When I booked my plane ticket I told my friend that this is one of the moments that if I were a happy crier, I would be totally crying,

I actually tried to go on this trip in the spring, on my break between spring and summer quarter, it didn’t work out, but a second chance came I took it. Besides don’t all the songs talk about Boston in the fall (or is that just VeggieTales?)

What fun and exciting things are there to do in that part out the country?

Complaining

Lately I have noticed the amount I complain has gone up and I don’t like it. I don’t really know when this started, or got to this level, but I need to work on it. The question is how? I usually just have one or two people who I will vent to, but that seems to be a growing group.

I’m thinking of doing a daily thankful list everyday or adding something to my thankfulness board everyday for a while to try to refocus my mind on the good things rather than the little annoyances. (I also want to start doing Thankful Thursday again, don’t hold me to it)

What do you think good ways to stop complaining are?

Awkward

Awkward

As you may be aware, I just finished with school for the quarter.

As you may not be aware, one of my classes was feature writing.

And for this class. I had to write a memoir.

I thought I would share it with you.

So here it is…

———————–

I was 20 years old when I thought I couldn’t breathe. I was supposed to be going to a charity event that my old high school was hosting and a few of my old friends were in. My mom and I had just finished dinner and were driving downtown to the Capital Theatre, then I couldn’t breathe. Like the good nurse my mom is, she took me to the hospital. I quickly learned when you are gasping for air you are not left in the waiting room. You are told to sit down in the wheelchair and get taken to triage right away. As it turns out, I could breathe, in fact my oxygen levels were great. I had just had an anxiety attack. One Xanax later I was sent on my way.

This seemingly unexpected anxiety attack was exactly that, unexpected by everyone other than myself. It has been said that I grew up straight into the awkward phase and haven’t left since. I was raised in your average, middle-class, white, Christian home and I thought that meant I was the type of girl who could never have those sorts of problems.

I was an accident, albeit a happy accident according to my mom, born a mere 11 months after my brother Jeff who had Cerebral Palsy and just about three years after my oldest brother, Travis. And when I was 9 years old my life changed.

I was at family camp, five days of sun, swimming in a lake and getting to be with my family and friends from our church. One day my mom and Travis went home because my grandpa was having open heart surgery. I spent the day with my dad and Jeff and went to bed excited for the rest of camp. When I woke up there was chaos.

People crammed into our little space, someone was hovering over my brother’s bed. In what seemed like moments they were all gone, I was left in the care of family friends. A few hours later my dad came back.

“Tracy, Jeff is with Jesus now.”

As I sat on my dad’s lap in the family camping trailer with the July heat surrounding us, I heard those words that forever changed my family.

One would think that this would be the beginning of my anxiety but that doesn’t come until a few years later. It is possible the unexpected death of my brother set something off inside of me. The older I become the more often people ask me if experiencing death at such a young age had some horrible effect upon my childhood. The truth is, I don’t know. I don’t know how different my childhood and life would have been if my brother had lived. Even through the death of my parents’ middle child, our family didn’t fall apart. My parent’s marriage didn’t crumble, and neither Travis nor I became drugs addicts, dropped out of school or began a life or crime because of some unresolved issues related to the death of our brother. Many siblings of special needs kids feel that during the life of their siblings they were ignored because of all the extra attention their brother or sister needs and at the death of their sibling the feelings can continue. However, this was never the case in my family. Jeff was a loved part of our family, he went camping with us and was at the same school as us, but there were times he was left with a caretaker while the rest of the family went on a vacation. He was important to my parents, but no more important than me or Travis and they made sure that we knew this.

I always was an awkward kid but in the sixth grade I got boobs and braces. One year I was the goalie of my soccer team and the next I was the girl who was terrified of balls flying towards her. Sixth grade cemented my identity, or at least what I thought what my identity was. I was that awkward, weird girl. The too loud at all the wrong times, too shy at all the others, uncomfortable in my own skin, misfit of a sixth grader. Time was pushing me to grow up and my fear kept clinging to the comfort of what I knew. I spent many recesses in the library shelving books or reading because the idea of recess with my peers filled my stomach with dread. I never had many friends, but the friends I did have were always good ones, but at times the knowledge of that wasn’t enough. There were times I was convinced those that knew me didn’t really like me and those that didn’t know me wouldn’t like me as soon as they got to know me. At times, I even convinced myself that my friends weren’t, like somehow everyone was conspiring against me, playing some sort of cruel joke on me or was only acting like my friend because they felt sorry for me.

Somehow over the next few years, I harnessed my fear and coped with my insecurities through a hard exterior. I hid behind a shell of sarcasm and self-deprecating humor. I convinced myself if I made fun of what and who I was first, if anyone else dared to make fun of me it wouldn’t hurt so badly. I built up this wall of false ideas to protect myself from an enemy of my own making. This was how I spent the majority of middle school and high school. I was constantly between who I was and thought I was supposed to be. The “calm and gentle spirit” and the idea to “never cause your brothers in Christ to stumble” that were touted at purity conferences and by pastors as the ideals for girls raised in the midst of the purity culture of my Christian upbringing were always out of reach for me. My shirts were always too low, my pants too tight, my voice too loud, my tears came far too quickly and the rest of me just too awkward. I was supposed to be full of grace and always be able to lean upon the everlasting arms of Jesus when I had problems. In short, I thought I needed to be a Good Little Christian Girl. And Good Little Christian Girls weren’t supposed to have anxiety and we weren’t supposed to feel like throwing up at the idea of social events. But I did, and I felt like a fraud and a failure.

My senior year of high school I had plans to leave after graduation. I was going to go somewhere new, somewhere I would be unknown. While I felt my constant awkwardness and stress was getting worse, I was no longer the same person I had been, and I felt trapped by other people’s perceptions of who I was. But my plans changed. I wasn’t going to leave. My dreams of going off to study English or history were replaced with the plans of a technical school. Even though I didn’t like it I quickly fell into the safety that was routine. The type of safely I both loved and so desperately wanted to escape from.

By the end of school my constant uneasiness and fear was at its prime. Daily I was combating what I would only describe as “just a little nervous stomach ache.” I couldn’t let go of the lies that I began to believe in middle school. I thought my problems were non-problems. Just the wannabe tragedies of a middle-class white girl, nothing of any real consequence.

And then I couldn’t breathe.

The part of myself that I tried for so long to hide was now out in plain view. I was embarrassed and I was ashamed.

After my evening excursion the emergency room I went to my doctor was told that sometimes when you are having an anxiety attack “you just need to take a nap” and was given a prescription that would do just that, and was sent to a counselor. But after one pill that knocked me out and four sessions with the counselor, I was done.

It was almost one and half years later before I took myself back to the doctor, finding one that I liked and admitting the extent of my anxiety. At 21 I finally was tired of the constant stomach aches and the near panic that came before most social events. When I got a job as an office assistant every time the phone rang I shakily answered the phone, dread filling my stomach with the fear that I would do an unknown something wrong. I was tired of it. I was tired of fighting a losing battle. My new doctor told me that I had social and anticipatory anxiety and gave me a prescription actually designated for anxiety. The first evening I swallowed one of those little white pills I felt like a failure, like somehow I wasn’t trusting Jesus enough or would never be normal. And normal is what I so desperately wanted to be. Then after about one month of those little white pills, crazy things started to happen, those “little nervous stomach aches” became that and always I knew that I could breathe.

I wish I could give you some miraculous ending, how that at 23 I am now cool again and no longer awkward, I never doubt myself or I never believe the lies of my youth. The truth is, doubt will wait for a low moment to come and lies will creep in when least expected and most likely that I will always be awkward.

Thankful Thursday (fourteen)

Thankful Thursday (fourteen)

okay, okay, I know it’s Friday.
and I know my poor blog has been neglected the past few months… I’m sorry

But I have reasons!
Well, one reason.

I went back to school and it was my first quarter. It was really busy working full-time, taking full-time classes all in the classroom, and attempting to maintain my somewhat of a social life…

Which leads me to thankful Thursday Friday….

I’m done!

I survived my first quarter back to school and maintained my sanity. I think I’ll have A’s but maybe one B or B+.

I love learning new things and in most of my classes I learned lots of exciting things like history and AP style (which I refuse to adhere to on my blog….  I’m a rebel at heart) and how to deal with a history group that is composed of all high schoolers who give you the impression they have nothing done for your final project that is worth 30% of your grade but somehow come through for you in the end.

So now I have two whole weeks off until…. summer quarter! I’m hoping to catch up on some reading and hopefully write a bit more and not have to rush to the school right after work. Also, sleep.