Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Life is an interesting hue these days.

I can't say exactly what I expected, only that this is not it.

Some things, like the internship, have worked out brilliantly. I fretted for an entire year about securing an internship. Sweated, nearly had anxiety attacks and doubted myself each time one of my fellow students came back with their exciting news.

Just in the nick of time, though, I came back with my own exciting news; securing a full-time internship at an advertising and PR agency and another at a social media and marketing company. I accepted the agency internship and I just hoped that I'd enjoy my summer. And that I'd be busy. And that it would all be enough.

Thankfully, I absolutely love the internship. And I'm busier than I could have imagined; exhausted by each day's end.

But it's not enough. There are things—people—missing.

This is what I've always feared. In that irrational way that only makes sense because I feel it. It is the kind of fear that only slips out in my writing. The kind that people, who don't know me the way they think they do, question.

Those people don't know the stories that feed the fear. That just tonight, I nearly begged a friend to hang out with me this weekend (and after typing that I'm confident that won't be happening again, weekends on my own aren't THAT bad).

This wouldn't be honest writing if I didn't acknowledge the resentment I've felt the last few months. I've never had many friends, but when I have them, I am a friend.

As it turns out, I define that differently than a great many of the people I've met. There are some, a precious few, that understand that word in the same way that I do. It has never failed, though, that life pulls us a measurable and tangible distance apart.

Maybe that's the way it's meant to be.

Or maybe this is the voice of fear, not as removed from me as I expected.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Awfulness of Endings, Surprises and New Beginnings

I live my life quietly, most of the time.

Until the silence begins to eat away at my sanity, stains my cheeks with unexplained tears and weighs my breaths with heaviness and anxiety.

And so here I am.

I’ve been busy these past few weeks, finishing up the last classes of my undergraduate career, enjoying my mom’s graduation and then my own and getting my feet wet with a full-time internship at a full service PR and advertising agency.

There hasn’t been time for silence or stillness.

This is my first free weekend in a long while, the second night that I’ve found myself laying silently in my bed, thinking.

I think it’s safe to say that I’ve now made it through another ending.

There is a bit of sadness, as there always is; disappointment, as there always is; and surprise, another constant element in the midst of change.  

These are things that I’ve ignored, refused to acknowledge, through the slow-down that preceded the end and the quick pick up that was the new beginning.

Endings are terrible. I dread them with reason; the goodbyes that only one of us knows is the last, the unmet expectations, the longing that I’ve learned will never subside.

And I’d like to skim over the details: the tears that I refused to cry, the people that broke my heart by not being there, the words left unsaid.

But silence makes such skimming hard, if not impossible, to do.

It’s been a much smoother transition than I expected; my first steps into the big wide world. 

Even still, I’ve found myself hurting and longing, disappointedly.

I had a bit of an outburst while on the phone with a friend the other day, after which I was able to process all of the emotion that is now making its way to the surface.

It comes down to letting go. Something I’ve got to do. The sooner the better.

To wave goodbye, as I nearly shouted on the phone, to those that have decided that they don’t want to be here with me as I expected them to be. As they said they’d be.

To stop loving the boy that I keep letting break my heart with his indecision.

To stop hoping, waiting, foolishly for the things that I know will never come.

There were—are—however, some beautiful surprises in the midst of all the shuffling.
  • There are some people that I’m not saying goodbye to as soon as I’d expected. And others that have found their way back in my life- even if only for a catching up of sorts
  • I got a kick-ass internship, something that I worried anxiously about all semester. And I’m enjoying it much more than I thought I would. 
  •  participated in the commencement ceremony with the people I’ve spent the last two years with and grown to love. It’s a memory we can all share, sitting out on the quad chatting (during the commencement speech) and laughing that last time before we scattered off to find—and make— our own places in the world.

These are the things that I’ll hold on to, open-handedly, of course, as I let go of the gut wrenching awfulness that I expect at each end.

It is the surprises that will usher in the new beginning.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Elements Outside My Control

 I’ve anticipated this week for months.

I’ve dreaded the emotion— or lack of— that I associated with these last days. I’ve been too busy for it though.

Until now.

It’s finals week, and as a senior my remaining obligations are ones I am left to manage on my own. I’ve got one paper left to revise and another yet to write.

I’ve spent the entire day at home. I’ve busied my mind with cleaning, organizing, planning my summer and collecting recipes, pages and pages of recipes. No paper writing, as my motivation is wane and my mind already past this point in time.


I’ve spent a lot of time envisioning what my life will look like after these next three months.

This move home, though purposed, assailed my independence in a way I didn’t expected. Which is the main reason that I considered packing up once again and getting on a plane back to Tampa immediately following graduation.

It wasn’t at all the way it was planned. I’ve taken care of myself since I was 14, when I had to just figure it out step by step and keep moving. Since then, I’ve worked to make it work. No questions asked.

I am proud of my independence during that time; the courage I had to navigate a new city and build a new life away from everything I knew.

I’ve always had an independent spirit. I try to live with as few attachments as possible, something that’s hurt a few people along the way.

I can recall countless conversations I've initiated about establishing boundaries and holding on with open hands. I am overly protective of my freedom and my time.

All this because I know that once I’m in, I’m in. With my love and affection, I am relentless.

I am attached now. My heart has been won, it seems. It’s beating for more than just me, aching for more than just me, leaping for more than just me.

On nights like tonight, when I’m enjoying my aloneness and the solitude that comes from being disconnected, I hate this.

This reminder that my life is never entirely my own. That I am loving right now.  

Something that I wish I had a little more control over. 

But, I haven't fled and I haven't shut down. When it comes to the things I can control, I'm figuring it out. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010


The memory of my 14th birthday party has been swimming in my head for the past couple of weeks.

My family doesn’t do big birthdays. Not that I can remember. Then again, the memory of my life at home breaks somewhere after early childhood at about five or six years old to this adolescent stage where I was anticipating my parent’s divorce and then dealing, as best I could, with the aftermath.

That year, though, I decided to plan my own party. I began telling my Mom exactly what I wanted a week—maybe two— in advance.

Even then, in the time when we are trying desperately to impress our peers, I had an appreciation for the simplicity of things.  I wanted a small get-together at my house with grilled hot dogs, my mom’s macaroni and cheese and my godmother’s famous baked-beans.

I invited three of my closest friends from school, my new best friend from church and her parents, my youth pastor, and my extended family. We sent little invitations that my Mom wrote up, and I was excited.

My birthday was on a Sunday. We went to church as usual and came back to my house afterward. The majority of those invited went to church with us and followed us back to the house, changed out of their Sundays’ best and settled in for the party.

Everyone was hungry, as people generally are, after spending the morning in church. My mom and godmother finished preparing the food in the kitchen and everyone lined up at the counter ready for the food that was assembled buffet style.

My Dad scolded me when I jumped to the front of the line and told me that guests eat first. (I will let my kids eat first on their birthdays, but it was a good lesson in hospitality.)

Embarrassed, I sat down at the table and waited for my friends from school to arrive.

And waited.

There was laughter and movement all around me when my world stopped.

I remember trying indiscreetly to get my moms attention. When I did, I whispered in her ear that my friends hadn’t shown up and no one had brought any gifts or cards (except my godmother). To the first she told me to call them and to the second she said something to the effect of so what, before she went back to being a good hostess.

I grabbed the phonebook before I sat back down at the table searching for phone numbers. I couldn’t reach anyone.

They never showed up.


I was popular growing up. People always knew my name, adults because I was the daughter of a teacher and administrator and kids because I was athletic and tried a bit of everything as a kid.

But, I’ve never had a lot of friends.

Quality over quantity became my motto somewhere along the way, when I started having to explain.

This isn’t always an issue though, until the three don’t show up.


I’ve been arguing back and forth with my Mom this past week over the phone and this weekend in person.

I’m one week away from graduation now and I’m anxious.

 Both about the actual graduation ceremony—I’m a little paranoid that they won’t call my name because this May ceremony, much bigger and more celebratory than the July ceremony isn’t really mine, since I have yet to complete my internship requirement—and my post graduation celebration.

When I got permission to walk in May, I told my mom that I wanted a small get-together after the graduation; just my family and close family friends together for an afternoon at park with hot dogs and hamburgers.

My mom got my grandma on board with the planning and addressing of the graduation announcements and invitations.

My grandma is a socialite and its spun out of control now.

While I have no idea who will actually show up, very few of the invitations have been sent to people that I actually know and feel close to.

Last night at dinner, complete with the divorced parents, my grandma and step-grandpa sister and niece and nephew, I lost it.

“I never wanted it to be something you guys would have to fuss over, I said.” Hot dogs and hamburgers at the park, I continued. That’s all I want.”

That’s all it is, my grandmother said. You can’t just do these things without any planning.

It’s not fun for me when I’m surrounded by strangers, I continued, this frustration that’s been building now overflowing.

Well, you haven’t told me any of the friends you want me to invite, my Mom said.

“I don’t have friends to invite, I keep telling you,” I snapped back.


The word friend is something pretty weighty to me, granted to only those that I know will show up.

I’m in another one of those weird transition phases with my friendships. My closest friends are in Florida, living their lives. Our communication is almost nonexistent now. Our lives are going on, moving further from the time when we were bonded so tightly.

And I’ve made a few connections here, people whose company I enjoy. But the timing, as it often is, is bad.

It’s the disappointment I’m worried about. Sitting at the table waiting while the party continues around me.

Those that do show up, however, will be greeted with a smile, warm hug, and genuine thank you.  Another lesson in hospitality I’ve learned along the way. 


I find myself here on nights like tonight when I'm holding back. Stuck in a loop with this song that doesn't make much sense unless it resonates. Which, for me, it does.