Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thought Questions #4 / Freewriting / Another nice thing.

TQ#4 (posted on the Facebook group this morning): What do you need most right now?

I'm starting to realize I'm at the point in my life where I don't want to be making new friends/aquaintances every few months and moving once a year (or more). Every little thing that's here now...I want it to stay where it is. No more moving.
I'm beginning to enjoy the routine I've set in place for myself.
There's something comforting in knowing that 2 days a week, I will wake up sleep deprived, but still find the energy to stay on campus for 12 hours a day. There's just too much going on to find time to go home.
I like knowing that I have somewhere to stay (multiple places, actually), if my electricity gets turned off again. Relying on the kindness of friends isn't something to shoot for, but it can be good.
I fall asleep after getting the same text message every night. I don't see that as boring. It makes me happy. Though my dreams are usually not happy, no matter who says they should be. My brain shows me weird things when I'm sleeping.
Even food is predictable. On Tuesdays, I get a free meal. On Thursdays, I eat for a dollar and get both lunch and dinner. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I usually eat with the same people (Or watch them eat. No meal plan, remember?) No more high-school intimidation -- walking into a crowded room, knowing no one.
I know that on Sundays I'll probably want to sleep in, but I'll get up early-ish to go to church...because that's routine, and predictability makes me feel safe.
And thinking about Christmas, when nothing will be predictable, kinda worries me. I'm not sure how to feel about going home -- that lonely, silent place in the middle of a crowded city...or maybe I was the lonely, silent one. Everyone else was alive and full of purpose, just like the streets around them...but not me. If I don't find myself surprised & having fun, at least I know sedatives are my friend, and I can leave after 2 weeks are over.
It may not be as bad as I've been dreaming, though. Because I'm bringing someone with me.
My friend, who will be called "A" here...
(YES, FRIEND. I have been asked by at least 3 different people if I was dating him, and no, I'm not. We're neighbors. And friends. So yes, we will spend a lot of time together. We are both single, but I'm not dating -anyone.- I've been interested in the same person for quite some time now (though recently it's become painfully obvious how badly he wants to be rid of me), and if I could make that go away, I would, but hearts and brains are funny like that...) coming home with me because of family drama that keeps him from spending time with his parents & siblings. There is no way I would let him stay in Cookeville by himself. That was me on fall break. That will probably be me on Thanksgiving. That will not be him on Christmas.
I didn't know how I would pay for his bus ticket (even though companion tickets are half price)...I assumed I would hope & pray for enough birthday money to cover his cost (and I thought he would help, but he has to pay to feed himself too & he's more broke than I am), and instead of buying myself winter clothes or Christmas presents...I would pay for him to have a holiday.
I casually mentioned on my BCM small group's facebook page that we were having less than 12 hours, 5 people offered to help. I was once again shocked because I didn't think any of those people really cared about me...(I have some very nice BCM friends that care for sure, but I didn't know my group even noticed me, really...)
So, A gets a Yankee Christmas, and I may still have enough money to buy myself some warm clothes and start on my Christmas shopping. I may be stressing out bad in a couple months, but right now, I feel pretty lucky. I don't know how A feels, but he is pretty lucky too. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

All writing is meaningful.

Title of blog = Advice my first local reader gave me. He tells me not to censor myself, and to write what I really think. So...I will. Partially because my journal is now floating somewhere around Tech campus, and I don't have a private place to write anymore!
This heck, all semester, I've had problems with internet guys. This is today's topic.
The last one ended less explosively than most, but maybe this is because we had only known each other less than a week. He (Let's call him B. Not B as in Ben, the text/church/awesome friend I've written about, this guy is just B.) got my hopes up ALL week that he was going to come see me...I dug through all my pants pockets, purses, couch cushions, etc, to find enough money to pay his gas. He got here...and turned right back around and left. Because his mother told him to. Whatever happens to living life for yourself once you turn 18? Lesson learned. I will no longer show interest or involvement in any guy still living under his parents rule...or in a different town. Paying gas money? Ha. Like I have any to spare. By the way, I took the money that was supposed to be spent on his gas, and bought myself some awesome food at Cream City -- Cookeville's best coffee/ice cream shop.
I suppose, since coming here, I've learned more about what I DON'T want in a guy than what I do.
After the fail that is "A," I realized seeing the potential guy at least once a week has to happen in order for any kind of relationship to work out. You need to make time for each other. I really liked him, but I was way at the bottom of his list of priorities. Probably somewhere between alcohol and video games.
C-Fail taught me that it's best if a guy meets your friends. If they don't like him, they're probably looking out for your best interests. Also, me seeing a guy with road rage? Not happening. I don't need another trigger for my anxiety attacks anytime soon.
M - biggest fail of them all. You learn a lot about a person in the first three days that you hang out. If he tries to "go around all the bases" in that time frame, and advertises for another girl the day of a breakup, he's probably just an all around creeper, good looking and friendly as he may seem.
All 4 of these miserable experiences came from meeting people on one social networking site. MyYearbook. Girls, guys, HUMANS in general. Please avoid meeting dates on MyYearbook.
There are enough sad stories on the internet. Don't add to it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The college stereotype...and disproving it.

Movies & TV shows have created a false image of the 4/5 years following graduation.
I have to admit, I believed it too, before I got here.
In the last 3 years, my assumptions have been proven very wrong.
Most of my readers are college students themselves, but their experiences have probably been different. This is what I've found out so far. Some facts are cynical, some are slightly more optimistic. I think...:

- It IS true, that greek life is a playground for the rich, but the frat guy/sorority princess type only fits about half the time. There are frat guys who are huge sleazebags (No, I'm NOT sending naked pictures to someone I hardly know!), but there have been some that are genuine, friendly people. Same goes for girls. They're not all size 0, spray-tanned blondes. As long as you have the cash, almost anyone can get in.
- The Freshman 15 can stand for LOSING 15 pounds. At UC (freshman year), I lost weight. That campus was like a fat camp. Hills everywhere, and expensive food in the cafeteria. Not everyone can afford daily take-out...or a meal plan...or a microwave.
-Wild boozy parties in dorm halls? Not happening. Most campuses around here are dry. I've seen my share of parties, but they've all been at houses where RAs will never find out...
- Sometimes, parents don't want their children to come home. Then they are stuck in town on weekends like fall break, where Everyone. Else. Leaves. Dead campus = Super creepy. And unbearably lonely. Unless a party happens.
- Church events can be a valid way to meet people. You don't have to rebel ALL the time. Sometimes, it's actually nice to hang out where everyone is sober.
- Guys and girls can still be best friends. Without "benefits." Just because we're in our 20s, doesn't mean a purely platonic relationship is out of reach.
- There is more to life than study, study, study. And there isn't a party every night, either. There is lots of free time in which to be bored.

In these boredom-times, another blog post is born. :D

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I shouldn't avoid e-mails or delete text messages.
But that's what I've been doing because I despise confrontation.
Please don't think of me negatively, girls I hardly know...
I was so grateful for the bid from OPA.
But I just can't go through with pledging. I thought I could handle it, but there is No. Way.
I read online about the dues waiver, and thought it would be no problem. Then I saw the form. There were tons of questions asking where every bit of my money comes and that itself is supposed to define whether I could make the payment or not.
Yes, I have lots of free time. That does not mean I am not depressingly poor.
I would love to have a part time job, but I know that is out of my reach for at least a couple more years.
Do I need to throw away half of my monthly food budget (what seems like it) on cat food & litter?
For my sanity's sake, yes.
I can't afford to set up a payment plan, or donate to charity. I receive charity myself. I really have nothing left to give. I don't know where my money goes every month. It just flies away, and there is never, ever enough.
It's hard enough funding my BCM habit, when it comes to trips, t-shirts, food, etc.
Speaking of, I have to give up on the spring break trip. There just isn't a spare $50 anywhere, and I don't think I can fundraise for the deposit.
It's sad, but hopefully I'll make local friends (for free) by then, so I won't have to stay here for a week all by myself.
The free friends all come from the internet.
(unless they need gas money, and then they're expensive too.)
So until then, that's where I'll be.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thought Questions #3

"In the last week, name one moment that stuck out to you."

Oh dear Lord, fall break is boring. I could write a whole post about how much I wish it was Tuesday again, but who would read it?
(Even if I lived close enough to home to leave for fall break, I would still stay. I don't have my own room anywhere but my apartment, and I doubt any of my family members would be excited to spend 5 days with me. Which is why I'm couch-hopping and staying with friends over Christmas...)

Anyway. Fun times? Thursday was awesome. It ended awesomely, at least. During the morning (Soul Food), I was incredibly depressed, dreading the time when all my friends would leave Cookeville and go back home to their happy families and home cooked meals. I was a little jealous and feeling sorry for myself...all day.
That night, I didn't go to International Night like I usually do. (For non-BCMers, this is another free meal and time spent with a couple friends who make me happy.) I went to a poetry reading with Daniel because I wanted to get to know him better, and he's so busy -- we almost never get to hang out alone. (Though I hope that changes soon? We did get a chance to spend some time talking one on one Friday night. It was also pretty freaking awesome.) I loved their free food at the Backdoor Playhouse almost more than the BCM food. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a cheap/free meal. :)

D. had to leave the poetry reading early to go write a paper, and I wasn't ready to go home yet.
No one I knew was left at the BCM, so I decided to go to this fall festival thing at the UC. I had remembered Kevin talking about it, but I didn't know if anyone I knew would actually show up there. I decided it was worth a shot.

And it was SO MUCH FUN. Not only did I get more free food (italian ice, funnel cakes, cotton candy and chips!), but it was like a dance and a party at the same time...with none of the misery & drama of high school dances. I actually ended up knowing a lot of people there (Ben & James & Kevin to start with...I met a few girls later who are new friends now!) All the new people I met were great. It just simply amazes me...I've met more people than I can keep track of in Cookeville, and I have yet to run into one real bully. A couple people who don't watch their words sometimes, but I haven't met anyone who's deliberately mean. Southern hospitality is awesome. XD

I was out late getting hopped up on sugar, dancing, taking funny pictures, and lots of other randomness. The next day, I was so sleep deprived, but it was worth it! If everyone I know has to leave town for the long weekend, at least I had fun before they left. Now, if only Tuesday would come faster. There are many, many people I want to tackle.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

an invitation.

My birthday is a little over a month away.
I need to start planning a party.
This task isn't as fun as it sounds. I'm not a very good party planner.
The summer after my freshman year, I wanted to throw a summer party, and I invited 24 people. 2 showed up. I haven't been into parties since.
But this year I want one. Really bad. XD
21 is supposed to be a big year.
I didn't exactly have a reason to celebrate at the time.
My mom's funeral was 2 days before my 21st birthday. I had a cake, but it's no kind of party when I was getting sympathy cards and birthday cards at the same time.
So what I'm thinking is, I want this party to be like how my 21st was supposed to be.
...Except a year late.
I want to invite lots of friends over to my apartment (which WILL be clean by then!) and we will stuff ourselves with pizza and cake.
Ideally, I would like to celebrate on the 12th of November (4 days before I actually turn 22), which is a Saturday, but if lots of people end up cancelling, I'm going to push it back to the 19th.
I really want it to be a big, awesome day!
I would love it if you could come. :)

(For family members and friends who send mail, you know I love pretty cards, right? Send them to my school PO box.)

Tennessee Tech University P.O. Box 13651
Cookeville, TN 38505

Monday, October 10, 2011

Summer-like weekend.

...And I'm not even talking about the weather.
At least 4 out of 5 people I know went home for the weekend.
Cookeville was looking to be a sad, dead place, much like it was before school started...back then, I didn't mind the quiet because I hardly knew anyone, so it just seemed natural that I was by myself a lot. But now? I'm busy ALL THE TIME, and to try to picture three solid days with nothing to do? It was a painful thought.
So, I went to Brianna's house in Sparta.
The ride (or multiple rides) just about killed me. I forgot how terrifying it was to look out at highway with nothing on either side of me, as far as I could see. Yuck. Even my trusty sedatives didn't help.

But the rest of the weekend was fun. We had lots of girl time, which I desperately needed. I had basically forgotten what it was like to hang out with girls. I so rarely see any outside of church events. Girls just don't seem interested in hanging out with me, unless it's forced.
It's just so mixed messages, no awkwardness, no trying to impress them, no psycho exes, no one-sided crushes that eventually result in tragedy and weeks/months of misery that even a kitten can't cure...
We watched a lot of movies, made hemp bracelets (I already lost mine), took pictures of kitties, and ate food. Yay, food!
(Her parents bought me raspberries at Sams Club on Friday. It's been months since I've been able to afford raspberries.)

The craziest part of the weekend was definitely the street fair. And I thought Cookeville's fair was full of rednecks. I had never seen so many overalls and creepy old men in one place. I wonder what makes rednecks wear overalls, anyway? Especially over a stained wife-beater. XD
Laurie (Brianna's mom) said I was looking at everything like I was culture-shocked. I suppose, it's quite a bit to take in. I thought a funnel cake could cure my weird feeling, but even the funnel cake It was hard and tiny, with more sugar than cake. It was quite disappointing.

When I got home, I had another "want to call mom" moment. I realized Brianna was the first friend I made that she never got to meet, or even hear about. My mom would have been so happy to hear that I met a girl that actually wants me to hang out at her house. XD

I'm supposed to be going back next week for fall break. I need to figure out an alternate sedative (Valerian worked well, but we'll see if it stays that way). Not all fall break will be spent in Sparta, however. Daniel (new friend) and I are supposed to find ourselves an adventure. :)

by the way...platypus. :) (B&J, that's for you.)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

More Random Acts of Kindness

This week has been kind of an off week for me.
But that doesn't mean nothing good was in it.
A few people I know have done some very nice things for me.
Today's post is for them.

First: Last night, I ran into a bit of trouble. I had money in my bank account, but still couldn't get cat litter and a phone card because I didn't have a ride to Walmart. I asked as many people as I could think of, but everyone was busy. (Yes, I could have ridden my bike, but how do you take a 15 pound bag of litter on a bike??)
In one last moment of desperation, I went into the library. I ran into some acquaintances, and I casually mentioned I had been on campus all day. When one of them asked why, I said because I was waiting for someone to take me to Walmart. (So I didn't have to pay the unneccessary $4 for a cab.)
A girl I hardly knew offered to drive me, and expected nothing in return. On the ride there and back, we talked, and I think we're going to end up being friends. THANK YOU, Megan! I have my phone, and my cats are happy because of you.

Megan drove me back to the school, because she had a meeting to go to. I was planning on bringing the shopping bags home by myself, but they were awkward to carry. Surprisingly enough, I ran into Kyle on the street corner. He could have spent more time hanging out with his friends having fun, but he helped me carry the bags almost a mile home. Thank you, Kyle. :)

After I put the groceries away, I was able to sit and rest for a couple hours before a sorority meeting. (Which I can't pay for, so I will probably have to quit eventually, but it's no big loss. The girls don't really seem to like me much.) That 2 hours wasn't enough for my feet to stop hurting, though. :( My bike was still at school, so I had to walk. I got about half way there, when another one of my friends offered to take me the rest of the way. I was so happy. It was only a few blocks, but I appreciated the thought. I almost fell asleep in his car. Thank you, Ben, for being awesome. ;) And for STILL letting me use your laptop.

This morning, I was talking to Brianna at breakfast, and we started planning fall break. This wasn't a random act of kindness, specifically, but I was still grateful that she decided to include me in her plans. As most of you know, I have nowhere to go on fall break, and almost all my other friends are leaving. So, thank you, Brianna, for thinking of me and making sure I have fun on fall break, just like everyone else!

Last thing. At 11 AM every Thursday, I go to eat lunch at the BCM house. I was sitting with the usual people, when Cana texted me and said she had something to give me. I just assumed I had left something in her car during Fall Focus weekend. I already had my crossword puzzle book and weekend what could I have been missing? Turns out, while I was having a miserable time at FF, thinking everyone there had forgotten I exist, she had gotten 7 people to sign a card for me! There I was, in my pity corner because I felt lonely, and all those people were thinking of me.

The company on the back of the card quoted, "Encouragement is a powerful thing."
I completely agree.

The smallest acts can save lives, or at the least, a day's sanity.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thought Questions #2

Yesterday's TQ: "Who have you been thinking about recently?"
That question isn't being answered. I'm not embarrassing myself and jumping into another volcano of drama. No one will ever, ever know.

So I'll just talk about church again.
(Or whatever Common Ground calls itself.)

Sometimes I have these crazy emotional moments where I just want to sing as loud as my voice will let me, and I just pray & feel at peace. But shortly after, my mood has a shift. That pure happiness can only last for a couple hours at most. Then I wake up really, really depressed.

Don't get me wrong, I would never "almost die" again. But I start to wish I had never been born in the first place. That's how bad it is. Honestly, right now I feel like the entire planet would be better off without me. But I won't do anything because I know the feeling will pass.

I don't think that's how church is supposed to make you feel.
I was so confused for a long time (like years), but I think I've figured out the psychology behind my insanity.
I don't like feeling vulnerable.
I don't like hearing intense, spiritual music and realizing I can't save myself.
I base my entire life around being strong, and when I'm forced to feel weak, I can't stand myself. And then I feel lost. I don't know what to do. I still don't.
I just pray. A lot. Is that enough?

And so begins the inner turmoil, wondering if BCM events 3 times a week is good for me. Deep down, I know it is. But the emotional roller coaster is wearing me down.
Why can't I just feel (or act) happy all the time like the rest of the "church people?"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Thought Questions #1

Due to a serious case of writer's block, I've decided to let another website decide what I'm going to write about. has questions sent to their site daily that can't be answered with a yes or a no. Until I have a creative topic, I will use them for motivation.

Today's question is: "How would you describe happiness in your own words?"

To me, happiness wasn't blowing a big check at the mall. (Yes, it was fun wearing all the new clothes afterwards, but I only impulse-shopped when I was desperately lonely.) It's not drinking until the sadness goes away, though I've done that too. I have moments in my life when I feel like I'm truly, honestly happy. Those that know me have seen that I'm quite a pessimistic individual, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy life. I love life, especially when my expectations are proven wrong.

Happiness is...
getting lost in a church song & when it's over, realizing you haven't noticed anything else happening outside of the music.

looking down at the top of the hill on your bike and letting go of the brakes, then feeling the wind on you as you fly.

panting for breath after swimming laps, but ducking under the water again because even though you're tired, the endorphins make you feel high on life.

nailing a spike/bump in volleyball, even if the game is just for fun, and everyone high-fives you and smiles.

knowing a glazed donut will make you twitch like a caffinated squirrel later, but eating it anyway because it just tastes so good.

studying for hours for a class, and getting the test back with an A, reminding you that cramming has a purpose.

running into somebody you didn't expect to see.

hearing a song that describes your feelings in words you never would have thought of.

someone telling you that you look pretty, even when you don't feel pretty.

having a closet full of clean laundry.

an aquaintance buying your dinner, no strings attached, because they also know what it's like to go without food and they want to pay it forward.

doing (and receiving) random acts of kindness.

a late-night text that says "happy dreams :)"

an unexpected phone call with good news (this will possibly be my next post!)

friends who don't leave you, even though they could find better.

pets who love you unconditionally, even when you can only feed them butter and mayonnaise at the end of the month.

struggling for years to just survive, and being able to relax because money/friends/entertainment/love/support is popping up in places you'd never, ever expect.