Misc.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

A short lyrical piece; as always, feedback, thoughts, encouragement, etc. are appreciated and can be sent to sojustmethen@gmail.com

It all started as a regret, or maybe a worry about a regret. Or maybe a worry about worrying about regrets. I can’t quite remember. All I know is that once it started, it grew like a weed in fertile soil. Suddenly the little nagging voices became a cacophony. They turned into raindrops that fell so hard and so fast that they left welts on my skin and blurred everything around me. I thrashed and I screamed in my mostly blind state. I felt my fists sink into flesh, but I didn’t stop, couldn’t stop. I was soaked and cold and lost and confused.

With time the deluge lessened to a shower, then a sprinkling, then a mist. And one day without me even noticing, when the end credits on that drama were done scrolling, the rain was gone. I blinked in the newfound clarity, and looked around. Everything was clear for the first time in a long time and all I saw was emptiness. I knew you had left but I couldn’t for the life of me remember when, or why.

I forced myself to stop looking for you and instead, looked at the mess I had become. With a sigh, I picked up the chunks that had fallen off and superglued, duck taped, stapled them back on as best I could. I saw that I had grown a whole foot in the rain and my heart had a distinct squeak. I had come through better. I reached up to the sky trying to grow even more when I felt a pang in my heart. Confused, I cracked open my chest to see what was wrong. I pulled out a microscope and saw nestled in my sparkling ventricle, a single grain of sand. It didn’t look like much, but I could feel it rubbing and scratching my tender new heart.

At first I was annoyed. I tried to get rid of it. I hawed and I clawed trying to rid myself of it. The more I fought the more I shrank until I was almost the same size as before.

I stopped.

I don’t know when I became such a super sleuth, but I realized that this grain of sand was what was left of the beautiful crystal heart you once shared with me. I realized, that my rain had devastated the landscape around me, and I could not even fathom what it had done to the fragile thing you gave me for safekeeping.

And that’s where I am now. Every time I move, every time I breathe there’s a little itch, a little irritation, but I stretch my hands up to the sky anyway. I will treasure that pinch as not only a memory of you, but as a reminder of what I am capable of. I can’t shrink anymore for fear of wasting away to nothing, so instead I grow.

Besides, I have heard it said that every pearl of wisdom begins as a grain of sand.

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Body Language

These are the first two chapters of a YA novel I’ve been working on. It’s a work in progress so I always appreciate feedback.

Chapter 1A

I slide in and out of consciousness. I see family and friends staring at me with tears and frowns and worry etched on their faces. I see nurses plugging me with holes and letting strange liquids into my body. I see doctors reading charts and shaking their head. I see a tray with food on it and a skeletal arm push it away.

I hear nothing. Smell nothing. Feel nothing.

Taste

Nothing.

Suddenly I am dragged into wake-ness. The room is white, blinding.

I hear beeps and buzzes and the murmur of voices.

Antiseptic burns my nose.

The sheets are rough beneath me.

Iron and cotton fill my mouth.

I am in a hospital.

Chapter 1B

Jamie stares at me. “Have you lost weight?”

“Uh yeah, maybe a little I guess.”

She’s silent. “I mean it’s not on purpose! I’ve just been exercising a lot you know and I’m actually happy since prom is coming up and I want to fit in a cute dress and I guess ive been eating less but that’s only because I’m not as hungry because of the exercise…”

“Yeah that makes sense. I’m going on a cleanse before homecoming for sure. I saw this really cute dress…”

I tune the rest of what she says out. I can’t believe she thought I lost weight. I look at my reflection in the windows across from our lunch table and see my fat face. I look at my hands and see sausages growing out of mashed potato palms. But maybe I have lost a little. I feel a spark of joy. Maybe it’s finally working.

Jamie and I take our trays to the trash. She glances at my tray.

“Cafeteria food makes me nauseous,” I say to the unspoken question in her eyes.

“I wish I had that type of self-control…” she looks down at her clean plate.

Then we head off to our separate classes. In history I stare at Mrs. Smith’s potato head and think she should go on a diet. In art, Mr. Jankins and his doughnut belly need to get off the couch for sure. In gym I get a bit woozy and have to sit out, but I don’t really like gym anyway. At the end of the day my mom is waiting outside to drive me to dance class.

“How was school?”

“Fine.”

We drive the rest of the way in silence.

Lets Play a Game

Lets play hide and seek. See if you can find me.

Answer this riddle to see where I am:

All things I devour:
Bird, beast, tree, and flower.
Forward is the way I go,
And there is no way to make me slow.
Peasant nor king can escape my wrath
Mountains and oceans neither my path.

What am I?

Click here when you’ve got it!

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Grow Up!

Growing up is hard. Everyone knows that. What everyone doesn’t know is about my growing up process. Well, I’m going to change that. I grew up normally as a youngest child. This means that I have been and still am to some extent a brat. However, I have gone through some things that made me grow up real fast, real quick. Luckily, every negative experience I had made me better, stronger, and happier in the long run; so, no need to bore you with them. Instead I’m going to show you how I’ve changed

Things I Don’t Like Then vs. Now:

venn diagram

Spiders are always the enemy.

First Facebook Profile Picture vs. Current:

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Notice the progression from cheesy quotes to cheesy pictures of questionable makeup decisions to cheesy pictures of a professional adult with her nephew.

How I Spend my Money:

pie chart 2003

pie chart 2013

To be fair, most of my food/drink cost is still candy.

So there you have it, definitive proof that I’ve grown up. I mean, just look at all those adult things I buy and dislike.

Wedding Tips and Tricks: Venue and Wedding Party

I have never personally planned a wedding, but ever since the beginning of college I have been fascinated by them. I am going to preface this blog post by reminding everyone that these are just my opinions, and a wedding is your big day; make it as personal as you want. So, that said, here are some ways to make your wedding spectacular, and some common mistake to try and avoid. (Part 1: Dress and Theme here.)

The Venue:

This, in my opinion, is the one part of the wedding that couples should splurge on. A great venue can make all the other parts of the wedding easier simply because most great venues have tools in place to make weddings seamless.

My tips for the venue:

Do lots and lots of research. Having a couple venue options will allow you to relax a little bit if one of them is unavailable. Also, doing research into typical pricing in your area for the size of the party you are having can help you get the best deal. Researching your area can also help you find a surprising and unique place that you may not have thought of.

Don’t reserve the venue the first time you visit or even the second time. Visiting the venue at different times of the day/year ensures that the atmosphere is really what you want.

Do ask a lot of questions, even if they seem dumb. Does the venue allow outside food? Who is responsible of set up/ tear down? Do you offer any additional services, e.g. flowers, decorations, even a fill fledged wedding planner? What is the maximum capacity? What does the price include (preferably itemized out)? What is the parking situation like? What is the time limit, and what happens if we go over? If it is an outdoor venue, what is the backup plan in case of less than ideal weather? Asking every question you can possibly think of, and some you haven’t yet ensures that you know exactly what you are getting out of your venue.

Do pick a place that fits your theme or is special to you and your partner or both. This is a party celebrating you guys so make sure you have it somewhere that makes you happy. Hopefully, you will be able to afford your dream venue, and even if you can’t you can make your venue a dream with the right team.

Do decide if you’re going to need more than one venue before starting the hunt. It’s possible that you may want a different venue for the ceremony than the reception. If you are doing this, make sure you come up with a plan to get guests from one place to the other. Using just one venue is a generally more cost effective option, but it adds a layer of complexity because the space needs to be changed between the two events. Two venues can be a challenge, but can also provide couples with a necessary gap between the ceremony and reception.

The Wedding Party:

For some, the wedding party is the simplest and easiest part of the wedding, but for others it can be a struggle. Different personal styles, too many candidates, and difficult to please personalities can give even the most relaxed couple an anxiety attack. The number one piece of advice that I want you to give is that you need to remind your wedding party that it is your wedding, not theirs.

My tips for the wedding party:

Do ask the party members at around the same time. This makes it easier on both the couple and the members of the wedding party because it streamlines the process. It also means that you can celebrate with them all at once.

Don’t try to have everyone you know in the wedding party. If you have so many friends that your wedding party could easily be 8 or 9 pairs, maybe consider only having family in it. Or if you want, only have friends you’ve known since childhood. There are other roles that your friends can play like readers and ushers. If someone is unhappy with your decision just gently remind them that this is your wedding and although you dearly want them to come, they don’t have to.
Do take their ideas and tastes into consideration. Try your best to please everyone, but always remember that you probably will not be able to. These people are hopefully your friends and family, you don’t want to alienate anyone. Also, your wedding party can be a treasure trove of ideas if you get stuck.

Do rely on your wedding party. They are there to make your life easier. So, let them. You should allow them to take over on the day of the wedding so that you don’t have to do anything. If they are thrifty or good at DIYs let them help with the center pieces and decorations. The people in your wedding party love you, and want to make your day awesome. Just always remember that.

Don’t forget to thank them. Write them a heartfelt letter; get them a gift; or even just a hug and thank you. These people love you and have probably been there for you through the crazy process of planning a wedding. They were there when you melted down about the venue or had doubts about your flowers. They deserve to be thanked in the most wonderful way.

Wedding Tips and Tricks: Dress and Theme

Hello lovely people. Sorry about my lack of post yesterday, I was irrefragably uninspired. Today though, I’m very excited to present to you a post about weddings. I have never personally planned a wedding, but ever since the beginning of college I have been fascinated by them. I am going to preface this blog post by reminding everyone that these are just my opinions, and a wedding is your big day; make it as personal as you want. So, that said, here are some ways to make your wedding spectacular, and some common mistake to try and avoid.

The Dress:

I’m going to make a lot of enemies by saying this, but the dress is not that big of a deal. Yes, you want a dress that flatters you and makes you look stunning, but getting hung up on finding the ‘perfect’ dress can add stress and pressure to the wedding that doesn’t need to be there. Also, spending an exorbitant amount of money on a garment that you will be wearing one day is a little silly. You can get a great dress that isn’t necessarily designer or unique and still have a great wedding.

My tips for the dress:

Do some research into your body type online before going shopping. There are some shapes that fit better on your body than others, and you want the most flattering shape possible. If you really get stuck or overwhelmed ask the sales associate at the bridal salon to help. They are incredibly knowledgeable and they are a great resource.

Don’t buy your dress without trying it on first, or if you are getting it online make sure there is a return policy if you are not satisfied. The dress might look killer on the model but not on you, or the fabric might be different than expected and uncomfortable. Buying online can save you a lot of money, but it can also cause a lot of grief. Some websites will send you two sizes to try or ask for our measurements to custom make the dress which helps a lot, but make sure that they have a 100% refund policy. You don’t want to get stuck wearing something you hate.

Do buy a classic style. Going with a trendy dress might seem like a good idea now, but ten years down the road you might not feel the same. There are some things that never go out of style: like clean lines and a shade of modesty.

Do make it personal. Even if you’re buying a dress that hundreds of other women have bought, you can and should add your own personal touch. You can add a fun tulle lining, or a sash, or even get lace or beading added to the dress. If you want to go really original, get a dress in a different color or have it dyed. Buying a more generic gown and then personalizing it is a much cheaper way to go than trying to find the perfect gown straight up.

Do get it tailored. This is vital. A good tailor can make even a subpar dress spectacular. If you’re going to splurge on anything regarding the dress, splurge on this.

The Theme:

This is my favorite part of the wedding. A good theme can elevate the night in a way that the guests would’ve never imagined while a bad theme can ruin the whole wedding.  Themes can be simple or complex depending on the person and how much planning they want to actually do. The theme is one of the ways to make your wedding really yours.

My tips for the theme:

Do pick a theme that is personal. Be it something as simple as you and your fiancé’s favorite colors or as complex as your favorite parts of Lord of the Rings. This day is about you as a couple, and sharing something you love while you celebrate your marriage with your family and friends can make the day really special.

Don’t pick a theme because it’s funny. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, but if you pick a theme because you think it would be funny to have a wedding with that theme, it will more often than not come out tacky.

Do incorporate your theme throughout the event. I’m not saying make everything pink if your theme is pink, but making sure that every aspect of your night has a little bit of the theme in it will wow your guests. Some simple ways to incorporate the theme without being over the top are: signature drinks, personalized bouquets, printable (e.g. Menus, programs, and place cards), and something that I think a lot of people forget, food.  It doesn’t need to be dyed or anything, but coming up with clever names for the different dishes can be entertaining to your guests and also tie in the theme.

Don’t go too over the top. It can be really fun to incorporate the theme as often as you can, but beating your guests over the head with it can be overwhelming and gaudy. On the flip side, try and not go too subtle. You want your guests to know the theme, and a wedding that is too plain can be boring.

Don’t break your budget for the theme.  Having a great theme that is incorporated throughout the night and the event space is awesome, but if it costs you half your budget to do it, it is probably not worth it. I think that couples sometimes forget that this is a celebration and no one is going to blame you for going simple. Your family loves you and just wants to see you happy.  Also, being ‘perfect’ is most likely not going to happen. So, don’t break the bank trying to get there.

Tune in next week for my tips and opinions on the wedding party and the venue.