Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Art of the Nap

I love naps.

Really, I do.

It may seem odd for someone who is only seventeen. Naps have been generally monopolized by toddlers and old geezers and I think it's high time my generation took back this glorious past time.

I know, we teenagers aren't supposed to sleep. We stare at screens on our phones, lap-tops and mp3 players all night long and we are a genetically superior race that doesn't need sleep. To be honest, I can't do that. I am not fueled by technological coolness, I need something more to get me through the day. That thing would be sleep... glorious sleep...that and coffee. And sugar.

(For the record, Doctors happen to agree with me on this: sleep is a good thing. Now I just need to get them to see my point of view about sugar...)

Like most teenagers, I go to bed at an hour later than 9 PM and if I have a choice, I get up in the morning at an hour later than 9 AM. But regardless of my 7 or 8 hours of sleep, I am still totally game for a nap. Anytime, almost anywhere, give me a pillow and maybe a blanket, (a teddy bear would be nice, too) and I'm good to go.

The key differences between "sleeping" and "napping" are as follows:

~ When I sleep at night, I demand total darkness. Not a sliver of light must be allowed to creep into my cavern of slumber. But when napping, I crave the sun on my eyelids.

~ A good night's sleep is 7-9 hours of unconscious, uninterrupted. But a nap must not exceed two or three, otherwise I'm all foggified. <--- I'll have to add that one to my personal dictionary, ASAP.

~ Serious sleep must take place after one's teeth are brushed, pajamas are put on and pillows have been fluffed. But a nap can take place anytime, anywhere, with little to no preparation. Stop, flop and sleep.

~ Sleep is mandatory: do or die. Naps are optional. Luxury, if you will. It's like a slice of bread versus a cupcake. One is nutritionally necessary and one is just for fun.

Napping is a sort of sleep, but not all sleep is napping. I don't know why, but I happen to find napping one of the more delicious forms of sleep.

Then again, I've never been an insomniac.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Of Chipping Paint and Left Overs

My ten day wear nail polish is chipping on the fourth day. Does that mean it has failed? I suppose there will be some paint on them in six days, though there will be even more chips.

Oh, the pretty, empty promises of packaging.

I've eaten Thanksgiving leftovers for three meals since Thanksgiving dinner. Each time they taste a little blander, colder and staler. They are aging, quickly and surely.

Oh, the sad short life of cranberry sauce.

It is still Fall according to the calender, but the temperature tells me it's Winter. Fall is dying in Winters birth.

Oh, the sad in between of seasons.

Now that Thanksgiving has past, the focus seems to have shifted to Christmas in full force. I don't know if I'm ready yet. I still have Thanksgiving leftovers.

Everything feels finished yet incomplete. I painted my nails for Tuesday, yet the remain imperfectly on Saturday. Thanksgiving has past, but traces of it's taste linger. For how long, I wonder? Christmas is coming in less than a month. Less than a month! Can you believe it?

Black Friday I went on Amazon and bought a bunch of Christmas presents. That was relieving. I love to give gifts, but only if I like them. If I feel I could not find the right gift or got the wrong gift for some reason, my joy is gone. It's a stressful thing, this perfection.

Holidays are hard. They demand so much of it. People take time off of work to celebrate, but I think celebrating has become even more draining.

Does it refresh you to break out of normalcy? In a way it refreshes me but I also feel as though nothing is normal. Some things can be done over and over on the same days, but nothing is ever really the same. Nothing.

Every day, every moment is a beginning and an end. Where did the beginnings begin and where is the end of endings?

Or is life truly that much of a circle?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve

There's a stack of half finished posts sitting in the inner recesses of this blog. I keep on starting to post, getting sidetracked and starting a new post the next day with renewed vigor.

You would think that after about a week of this I would get enough vigor to get the job done.

On this (freezing cold) Thanksgiving Eve, there is a frenzy of house cleaning, pie baking and preparing going on around here. I suppose that is what holidays have come to mean to me in general- more to do.

But I do love Thanksgiving. Firstly because of the food and secondly because of the meaning. Yeah, my priorities could use some adjusting. I love that Thanksgiving has remained somewhat untouched by commericalization. <-- Made that word up. Deal with it.

It's still about getting together with the people you love and sharing time and food.

It's still about being thankful for what you have, no matter what you don't have.

My grandparents should be arriving soon. I'm glad they can be here for the next few days.

I hope ya'll have a very happy Thanksgiving and that you slow down to remember what matters the most and be grateful for it.

And if those things are people... let them know you appreciate them, not only today, but all the time.  <3

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cross My Heart and Hope to Find

Okay. I wanna talk about a song called I Cross My Heart. It got me thinking overtime and even inspired the poem below.

The song is somewhat sweet, and yet there is something terribly sad about it.

The gist in Anna language and how the song, the poem and your life in general connects is as follows: The song tells a story about this couple who just so happen to into his old girlfriend. Basically, it's about him reassuring her that the ex is just that. An ex. Over. Nothing to him anymore. Sweet, right? Major "Aww..." moment for the ladies.

Not quite. It's cute, yet it speaks of an old romance, one that completely captivated the man... for a while. He thought it was love. Then seemly out of no where, what happens? Oops, turns out she wasn't the one and he was really waiting for Girl B all along.

Ouch. It's sad and horrifying to me. He thought it was love. Was he ignoring certain signs or incompatibilities? Deep down, did he know it wasn't meant to be? Or is it really just that risky? Like you could think you loved someone, but at any moment, if you made the wrong move, you could blow up what seemed like destiny?

On that train of thought, I wrote this poem:

So beautiful it makes me sad
Stirs a memory I never had
Threatening fragile hope I fear
Will shatter like a fallen tear
Sneering, asking who am I
To dare forget that love can die?

There's proof everywhere. Divorce, miserable relationships, people falling in and out of love practically at random.


Was this always the way it was, but social standards prevented the "take and throw away" nature of our current relationships? You "had" to stay with your spouse or be a literal outcast? Did making it common and "okay" cause it or simply unveil it? Seems like even a wedding band means almost nothing to us anymore.

Or is love in the fairy tales even real? I don't think people like me are capable of loving or being loved like that. I'm not perfect like the fairytale princes and princesses and I doubt I would be attracted to someone who was. I don't connect with people so easily, I don't trust people so quickly, I don't "follow my heart" blindly and expect to end up hitched to Superman. Or is that all supposed to change as soon as Prince Charming tap dances his way into my life?

If it's truly love... can it die? Or is the true love thing what makes or breaks a relationship?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ACT Results

(Suffering from a bit of writers block. You may have taken my silence as such. It's easier to be quiet when you aren't sure what to say. Better to sit back and listen when your own voice is failing.)

It is with great relief that I announce that I got my ACT score back. I was shaking when I opened the letter. I was terrified I failed. I worried I got a 17. I didn't know what to think and I wished I wasn't panicking. I got a  24. Decent. I did well on the English and scored pathetically low in the Math. I'm applying quickly with this score and seeing where it gets me. (Nothing I am interested in for a major is math orientated. At all.)

I'll be back to blog later. Writers block, yes, but you have not heard the last of me. ;)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Winning Winter, Trying Fall

It's cold outside, Baby.

And being my ridiculously cold self to begin with, this makes for pleasant days for Anna.

Here in the Midwest, November is bitter. I was having a nice time with the 70 degree days and balmy(ish) breezes. But last night it snowed North of us and scared me. Winter... is that you?

I'm clinging, so desperately to some semblance of Fall. There's still some trees who are holding out, hanging on to their leaves.

I love those trees for trying.

Winter is coming. I can't deny it too much longer. The trees and I can hold out until it snows though, right? We can cling to Fall for a few more weeks?

I'll feel better, just for trying.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Confessions of a Quitter

I... QUIT!

Oh how liberating.

I quit NaNoWriMo! Yippee! I missed the precious time it stole from my blog, and it was naught but a tiresome chore on my part and my novel was ghastly. I had lots of good reasons, you see. I quit for myself, for the greater good of novels and novelists everywhere and for the aliens.

I'll get back to you on how this benefits the aliens. As soon as they get back to me.

Are you a quitter? I often am. It's one of my worse qualities. I usually only quit on myself though. If someone else is counting on me, I'll keep at it. I'm a coward who likes to avoid conflict.

I think there is something to be said for knowing when and how to quit and when and how to keep going, even when the going gets tough.

When to call it quits though? For me, it's time to stop when it's not helping anyone anymore and the pain has no purpose. This describes my NaNoWriMo novel perfectly.

Free at last. I gave it a week of my life. Tried and failed. C'est la vie. A part of me screams to get back up and try again!

But most of me knows when to quit.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Good Lie

Alright. Good. Okay.

Those are the three things I hear the most in response to the question "How are you?"

I personally dislike that question. We're not really asking anything, we're stating a formality. No one really wants to hear "Well, my dog died and I had to eat burned toast for breakfast, I got a new pair of shoes and my favorite soap opera just started a new season, and the lack of sunshine makes me feel a little down."

Honestly, I think a lot of us don't care.

The lady at the Dollar Store who asks you that? She has to. It's her job. Do you think she cares? I don't know. I suppose that would depend on the Dollar Store Lady. Whenever they say that to me, I always respond "Good, how about you?" I think we sometimes forget the humanity and dignity of those people. I've gotten some of the most genuine smiles from people when I turn the question around on them. Just by recognizing our equality.

I also appreciate when people DON'T use good/alright/okay. When they actually let you have the truth. They don't give you their life's story or take it as licence to have a pity party then and there, but they say "Oh, I'm having one of those days." or "Not so great." I think that takes guts. I don't say that. I won't. If you ask, I'm good. All good, all the time.

If you are brave enough to tell the truth and show your heart, I look up to you.

In a way, I find it funny that we work so hard to protect ourselves. What's the worst that can happen? People get back up from everything. Even the unthinkable and the deadly. Lightening strikes. A miscarriage. Mine collapses. Mental illness. War. Not everyone does, but some people have.What makes the difference, I wonder? No matter who you are, there's someone like you. No matter what you've done, someone else has done it too. Secrets are almost comical to me, in a world where there is nothing new under the sun. Not to say I don't have my own. I'm just pointing out what a foolish person I am.

Yes, someone could hurt me with the things I hide. But perhaps hiding everything is just as destructive. Maybe the reason we feel so alone is because we prevent connections. People have hurt me with things I hesitated to tell. And what did I do? I blamed myself. "This is all your fault. If you hadn't been stupid enough to tell them in the first place, none of this would have happened."

It's hard to help your natural reaction, isn't it? It's hard to train yourself out of the "Good." lie. It's hard to change your natural reaction to betrayal and hurt, isn't it? Sometimes we need the good lie. Sometimes our natural reaction could be the best one. Yet I want to believe there is a difference between surviving and thriving. I want to believe we can do better than "alright" and that someone cares about how the Dollar General Lady is doing.

It's all so simple in concept and difficult in practice. I can sit here and blog about it all day. But will I tell the truth the next time someone states that little formality: "How are you?"

Probably not. I am not that brave.

But I will keep asking how the Dollar General Lady is. And I hope she smiles. And if she honors me with the truth, be it good or bad or somewhere in between, I will look up to her for breaking out of the box. For taking it deeper. For trusting me just a little bit. For inspiring me. For thriving instead of just surviving.

For not being afraid to tell the truth instead of just a pretty little lie.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo and Me

Ever heard of NaNoWriMo? Yes? (Insane, is it not?) No? (Link. Hover. Click. Ta da. Now you have.)

Anyway, I am embarking on this (painful) creative journey yet again. (I had a glorious failure in 2009. It was really epic...as in epically bad.)

So, being the dense and ever foolish fool that I am, I am trying it again!

I'll spare you the details of my story. I will probably have another, even more glorious failure (I have never successfully written a novel, though not for lack of trying, for NaNoWriMo or otherwise.)

Wish me luck. And sorry if I neglect my poor blog as I have been. I'm aiming for balance, but when the weak of coordination aim for such, they often fall along the way.