I’m going to suggest a completely absurd thought about writing, here. You might unfollow me for this and say that I’m no real writer.
But have you ever considered the absurd notion that what you wrote might just be absolutely fine the first time? That maybe, just maybe, writing doesn’t need to always be this arduous process of endless writing and re-writing and slaving over several versions of the same piece and trying to decide which one is best?
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A friend asked me if I ever plan on writing anything deeper than what I usually write. Aside from the fact that I prefer to make people laugh, and that I strongly believe that continuously pointing out the problems in the world without endeavoring to offer a solution (which I don’t exactly have) only adds to those problems, I usually just write about whatever’s going on in my life and the thoughts that come of that. For example, “Limited Social Capacity” was motivated by the fact that I was going to take a walk with a friend and then she invited one of her friends to join us without giving me advance warning (the time appointed doesn’t count as advance warning), much to my chagrin.
Unfortunately, recent events have been a little bit too deep to share in a general blog like this one. Hence the lack of posts for several weeks—or however long it’s been. I had things to say, but I just didn’t want to explain them as fully as the context demanded. However, there is one deep thing that I am willing to share.
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I like groups of two. Just myself and another person. I’m most comfortable in these kinds of settings, especially with a person who doesn’t need conversation at all times. I don’t mind larger groups when I know everyone in the group, especially if we all know each other well. Each group number has its own benefits and negatives. Usually with larger groups in which I know everyone fairly well, I can find a balance. I either let everyone else talk and listen or talk to whoever’s nearest me.
But the worst group setting is three. Three is a horrible number. Again, it’s not so bad if all three know each other. But one person I know and a friend of that person I know absolutely nothing about in some kind of sustained social interaction? Horror of horrors! Abort! Abort! This is not ok!
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This is kind of a no brainer, but it’s something I realized from an incredibly awkward and ridiculous situation that I experienced last week.
Now, on a normal day, none of this would have happened. It only happened because a set of things that don’t usually happen happened all at the same time (isn’t that the way of things?). I woke up late on Friday. Not so late that I was already late for work, but late enough that I needed to hurry in order to arrive on time. So I skipped breakfast. Now, my dermatologist has me taking an antibiotic for acne. I’m supposed to take it with food (the pharmacist says not to take it near dairy, but the dermatologist told me to ignore the pharmacist, so…), and I normally take it right as I’m leaving for work after I’ve had my bowl of cereal. Friday, I skipped breakfast, but didn’t skip my pill. I had a bag of almonds at work which I was planning on munching on as soon as I got to work.
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I love playing the game, “If you were a literary character, who would you be?” Sometimes when I think about it, I get the same feeling as I do when I give gifts. That feeling of, “Ah yes, this comparison is IT,” and until I get that feeling, I keep thinking, “Eeeehhhh.. that’s not it.”
So a few friends of mine and I started talking about it. The Risable Rambler started it, and then the Dinky Bird and Me and another friend and I got into it. We shortly all agreed that Risabella is Jo March from Little Women. After much discussion, we eventually concluded that our other friend was Miranda from The Tempest (after considering Kanga from Winnie the Pooh, Eowyn from Lord of the Rings, Viola from Twelfth Night, amongst others), and I insisted that Dinky Bird and Me is either Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility or Lizzie Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. I’m thinking Marianne just works for her (the other choices for her are Galadriel and Eowyn from Lord of the Rings, or Jane Eyre).
Who did they insist I am?
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Downtown is, as a rule, less crowded on Monday. And, since it’s summer, the light lingers longer in the evenings. Two explorers have agreed to spend their Monday evenings exploring the workings of downtown. One explorer is decidedly less familiar with the area, but is excited because she has discovered new places to experience. Most notably, a coffee/book shop that’s taken over the ground floor of the old city hall. The architecture is stately, but not ornate. The book shop is on the right and bleeds into the coffee shop on the left, at the back. Old books, not for sale, decorate the walls. The coffee shop offers hard, straight-backed chairs and tables. One explorer discovers that the couches on the left side are free. She missed them because they were occupied on her first visit. One couch is a big, squishy ordeal of fake leather. It smells ever so slightly of mildew. You sink deep into the cushions when you sit on it, and it’s almost like you’re sitting on the floor, only much more comfortable. The other couch is a light colored fabric, tattered in places. Both couches are obviously old, worn, and well-used.
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So a friend of mine, The Risabella Rambler, recently posted this post, “Adulthood Is Stupid,” which details all the reasons why children really shouldn’t want to grow up. And everything she says is all very true. Everything that we wanted to have as children that only adults get isn’t as free, or as fun, as we wanted it to be.
However, my life isn’t as bad as it should be, per my friend. I like my job and my co-workers, my rent is allowing me to pay for stuff, and my life is actually coming together quite nicely. I may not have an active social life, but I go out when I want to go out and stay in when I want to stay in. Sure, I’d like to be able to travel, but I have friends who wait and save up for travel opportunities, and I can work with that. And while the world is going to pots around our ears, it’s kind of been doing that since day 1, so I’m not particularly worried about anything, unless it suddenly stops going to pots. Which I think would be more worrying than everything else. Everything is pretty ok for me.
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So I graduated. And I got a full-time job. So I have officially started my adult life. Needless to say, I have mixed feelings.
Why should I have mixed feelings? I finished my last semester of grad. school with two A’s, got a job right after graduation, when I know many people don’t get jobs for years after their graduation. And it’s in my field no less. My job is relaxed (for the moment; I have been assured that it will get stressful as time moves on), I work with great people, and I have a great environment. Literally there is nothing to complain about. Aside from boredom, but that is easily alleviated. I have so much I am thankful for, and God has blessed me so much.
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On multiple occasions, I have had the privilege of taking classes with one particular teacher at — University. Throughout the classes that I have had with her (so far, Shakespeare’s early plays, late British literature, classical and medieval literature, and the Tudor renaissance), it has seemed to me that she often stressed this literary theme of knowing yourself. “Know thyself!” she would proclaim (loudly, with some pounding on the desk for emphasis).
Lately, as I progress through my graduate school days, I am discovering more and more how important it is to know yourself. Each day seems to be more and more of a journey of self-discovery. And, through self-discovery, growth. After all, how can you truly grow if you don’t know the areas in which you need growth? How can you repair a broken wall without first knowing what kind of materials the wall is made of?
Where did this particular reflection come from? A certain realization of my own character. I consider myself to be rather spontaneous. I don’t like fixed plans, and I like the changeability and flexibility that my life has right now. In fact, it’s quite safe to say that I dread routine. Schedules and lists are repulsive. And nothing irks me more than mandatory curfews and bedtimes. *Shudder*
But, at the same time, I would not be able to handle a life without some elements of a schedule, whether it be a class schedule or a work schedule. But I also like the flexibility of being able to change things at the drop of a hat (not that my current schedule affords me that kind of flexibility – but I can dream).
So, what have I learned from this bit of self-discovery? Not sure yet. I’ll let you know when it hits me.
Humans are incredibly complex beings. Have you ever noticed that?
That’s kind of why I don’t put that much stock into personality tests and love language tests. Some of them are great and all, and amazingly accurate, but they can only be so accurate, namely because of how many opposing characteristics we tend to have. For example, a few years ago, I took a quiz to figure out how I handle confrontation. Like how I handle being reprimanded, or how I handle reprimanding someone else. My primary method for handling it came up being avoidance, but my secondary came up confrontational. So, I’d rather avoid any form of confrontation, but if I don’t have any recourse, I will confront it head on and take it out.
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