Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's been two weeks since I walked off the plane in London. I can't believe two weeks have gone by so quickly. It seems ridiculous that in the last two weeks, I've done so many things and yet I still missed a ton more (due to migraines, as usual.). I've experienced an Italian hospital. I've gone for drinks at bars in two different countries. I drank cheap Italian wine. I've seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I've walked the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. I ordered food correctly in Italian, a language I had never even attempted to speak until just a couple weeks ago. I shopped in an Italian supermarket and didn't end up with anything weird. Tomorrow I have my speaking and listening final for my Italian class. It blows my mind that I've done a semester's worth of work in two weeks. Saturday I have my written exam and then I hop on a bus to Florence, where I will take up residency for the next three and a half months.

I'm not sure what is the most exciting part of all of this. I think it could be that I'm going to be a legitimate resident of another country as of Saturday when I meet my new Italian landlord and he hands me the keys to my new Italian apartment. I'm living with two people I just met and somehow I feel like it's going to be a ridiculous learning experience. I'm excited. I'm excited to attempt to cook traditional Italian meals and I'm excited to explore a new city. I hope that once I settle into Florence my headaches will settle down and I'll finally be able to relax. I see so many positive things in the future. I'm in love with life.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

To my dearest United States:

Suck my dick.
Just kidding.

The last week has been the most incredible experience of my entire life. Though I've been horribly ill (and in the emergency room for the last two days), I can honestly say that choosing to go abroad for the semester was the best decision I could have made for myself. I was considering coming home because of how sick I was, but I'm really glad I chose to spend a couple days in the hospital and get better before jumping the gun and taking a plane back to America. Yes, I miss some things about the States, but I honestly do love it here. Everything is so beautiful, and though the natives seem to hate Americans, I have found quite a few who were willing to help me with my broken Italian with their broken English.

In the last week since I hopped on that plane back in Boston, I have learned so much. I have been forced to come out of what little shell I had and make some brand new friends with people who are practically strangers. Sure, we don't all get along with each other, but that's just a part of life. The more important thing is that we're all in this together and we're helping each other learn a new language and a new culture. I'm currently in Tuscany (went to London for a few days, too), and I will be here till next Saturday, when I finally arrive in my apartment in Florence. This whole thing is just so surreal. I don't even know how to describe to you the way it feels to be living out of a hotel in a small Italian vacation town. It's like I'm living in a postcard, and I don't think I could ask for a better way to spend my semester... sure beats URI and Stoppy!

I've posted a shitload of pictures of this place on facebook. There may or may not be pictures of the bathrooms in there, too. And lots of weirdo drink pics. But honestly, Italy is so amazing and I'm so glad I came. I cannot wait to move into my apartment in Florence so I can start cooking Italian style for myself. Yay! Anyway, if you need to get ahold of me, facebook and skype are your best options. Try not to text (it's expensive!). <3

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ciao, Rhody!

So, I'm sure you know that I'm leaving the country soon for a study abroad experience in Italy for the fall semester. I'll be on a plane to London in eight days and settling into life as an Italian immigrant in eleven. Weird, right? You have no idea.

My very first apartment will be in another country on another continent with people I haven't yet met. I won't have an address and I won't know my roommates until Orientation in Viareggio. On the up side? I received my tickets, health card, luggage tags, and pre-departure package in the mail yesterday, including an itinerary for the trip. Guess where I'll be staying in London? PARK INN HYDE PARK HOTEL! Yeah, that's right. ANTM, anyone? I know, I'm a freak.

But seriously, guys. This is going to be the experience of a lifetime and I can't wait to get started! Let's start with the fact that this is the second time in my life that I'll have left the United States, but the first time that I'm going to be thousands of miles away from everyone and everything I know (with the exception of Derek, who will be in Florence with me, and Alyssa and Dustin, who will both be in Rome). I mean, I've met one person from my program (today!)and I'm sure we'll be tearing it up in Italy, but when you think about it, that's a whole lot of country to explore when you know practically no one. And you know what? That's probably the most exciting part. I don't know anyone there. I don't know any Italian. I don't have any idea how I'm going to survive completely on my own in a foreign country. And all the while, I'm so excited to be diving head-first into a cross-cultural experience. It's time to sink or swim.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

West Virginia: More Than A Southern Hell

A vacation to the godforsaken South to visit the man I love was exactly what I needed. I needed to get away for the temporary change of scenery, but more importantly, I needed to find out for myself if I could ever call West Virginia home. At first I thought, no way in hell, but as the hours passed during my visit there, I found myself more and more willing to settle down there, at least for a little while. Being away from the hustle and bustle of life here in New England was refreshing, and it definitely made me think.

While I could never picture myself living on a farm, I could deal with living in a small town within an hour of a major city. The countryside is peaceful and beautiful, and that area is loaded with history lessons around every corner, which brings Derek so much joy. I like that there are nearby highways and trains that will take me to the big cities and that it's like living in a portrait. I hate how slowly most of these people move, though - I just can't deal with waiting 20 minutes for a coffee or smoothie at the local coffee shop!

There were a lot of pros and cons that I found myself weighing, but the largest pro could not be ignored: the sense of freedom I felt. I realize this is cliche, given that the area in which I'll likely be settling down in the next couple of years was forever altered by the Civil War which was driven mainly by conflicts over slavery, but how could you possibly feel trapped in a place with mountains, trees, picture-perfect rivers, and plenty of fresh air? I mean, I would have to work outside of the area to keep from getting bored, but I could definitely deal with that.

I think one of the biggest things I've realized in the last few days is that I need to follow my heart. I'm probably going to have to suck it up and deal with a high-paying corporate job before I can do what I really want. Corporate life just seems so boring to me, but the student loans need to be paid and I need money to start my business. Don't worry, I'll definitely be baking for a living eventually, but we have to be realistic here. I'll hate my life living in the South and working some boring-ass 9-5, but it'll be so worth it when I can finally open up my bakery and do what I really love and not have to worry about finances.

That brings me to my next topic: school. OK, so I hate it. But let's think about this: the degree will definitely help me make some big bucks to pay off the student loans, put me through culinary, and, ultimately, provide me with the funds to open my bakery as well as the know-how to run it successfully. That being said, I know I don't really need to finish college, and I know I hate both the idea and act of going to school, but I'm so close and I want to finish my degree. It's only three more semesters, and one will be spent in Italy, so that's not really school.

Now completely off that subject, I need to tell you that I find myself feeling ready to get out on my own. I'm twenty years old and I'm more than capable of taking care of myself and a place of my own. I may need to figure out a better working situation to up the cash flow a bit, but that's fine. I've got my life in order and I can't wait to finally do all of this.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm Not Myself Tonight

When did I become the girl who lost her cool over a snide comment or passed judgment? When did I become physically repulsed by all the things I used to love, especially food? When did I lose my desire to do things? It seems like the only thing I still love is baking. I have no desire to do anything but sleep, bake, and watch TV. I don't want buffalo wings or cheez-its. I don't want to be around people and I don't feel like taking photos. I'm touchy and oversensitive. The smallest things crawl under my skin and make me want to either rip your head off or cry. How did this even happen? This isn't who I am... I'm that crazy bitch who gets excited over everything. I like to make cookies and cakes, but I like to eat them too. I like to take pictures and I love to argue. But right now... I don't feel like I even have the energy to disagree, even if I feel strongly about the issue. I'm stuck in a funk and I hate all of this. Since when don't baking and writing make me feel better?

I'm hoping that all of this is tied in to feeling sick the last few days. I'm always more sensitive when I'm not feeling well. And I hope that a weekend with the love of my life will bring be back to where I need to be... but until then, I'm going to have to wait it out and try to pick myself up, since there really isn't anyone nearby to give me a hand. And you know what? That's the hardest part.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Just Stuck Inside The Gloom

I love my life, I do... but sometimes I wish things were a little different. I wish that I didn't have to deal with having the people closest to me so far from me. I sometimes wish that I didn't care so much about the people in my life so things would just be easier. I wish that someone would be there for me like I've always been there for everyone else. I wish that I could just open my bakery-cafe and get on with my life. I wish I hadn't wasted so much time going to real college for a degree I don't even care about. I wish I would have just gone to culinary and told everyone to go fuck themselves. You know, I wish I could just tell people to go fuck themselves, to get their shit together, and to stop regressing to childhood.

We are all adults now. We've made a lot of decisions that put us where we are in our lives, and we're going to have to continue to make these decisions for the rest of our lives. We have to consciously choose to succeed in what we choose to do; we have to consciously choose to let go of all the reservations we may have and allow ourselves to love and be loved in return; we have to consciously choose to pick our battles and preserve the sanctity of friendship; we have to consciously choose to stay happy and healthy.

It absolutely boggles my mind how so many people cannot seem to get a grip. Really. If you're out of high school, you should start acting like a big kid. Put your big boy undies on and deal with your problems. I cannot hold your hand any longer. I just can't, and I'm sorry but you have to do this for yourself. I refuse to be a part of anyone's spiteful path to self-destruction. We all have our demons, but you've got to find that balance and you've got to figure things out for yourself.

Speaking of figuring things out for myself, I've more or less decided that I want to pursue culinary school, get into a really fun career that I'll actually enjoy, travel a little, settle down with the man I love, and have a family. I never really wanted to settle down and have a family, but as time goes on, I want that more and more. It's not practical right now, obviously, but other than having my own successful bakery-cafe, I just want to be a mom. It's weird to write that and say it out loud, but that's probably because I feel like no one really cares enough to ask or listen other than Derek and Matt, and thus this is the first time this fact is being publicly stated.

The fact of the matter is, there are a lot of things I want to do with my life and I don't really know if anyone else quite gets that. It seems crazy to be working as a supermarket supervisor by day and bartender by night while going to school for a degree in communications specializing in telecommunications and public relations with a minor in film but yearn to open a bakery-cafe, settle down fairly young, and have a brat of my own. To most people, it probably seems like I have absolutely no direction in life. But that's not true: I just want to do so many things. Call it career ADD if you want; I don't care. I call it dabbling into different fields to better myself and gain a more educated view of the world.

But for now... I just feel stuck. I'm leaving to go hang out on another continent for four months in a mere 34 days. When I get back, I'll have two semesters left of real college, even though I'd much rather just be baking. And between those two semesters, I have to decide if I'm willing to pack up my life and move to be with the one I love... and right now, I'm about 98% sure that I am. The real problem, though, is whether I should drop real college and go to culinary or just finish my degree first. There are so many factors here and time is running out.

Clearly my mind is clouded. Maybe tomorrow will come with a clear head and what's right will be more obvious. I hope, anyway, that tomorrow will be a bit better...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Dear Fate,
You're a cunt. Make me fall in love when I didn't want to, why don't you? And then take him from me for months at a time and stick him in the SOUTH, for Christ's sake. And take my best friend, stick him in California, and up airline prices for me. Oh, and while you're at it, why don't you introduce a bunch of other wonderful human beings into my life who want to be with me but cannot seem to understand that my heart belongs to someone else?

You know what, Fate? You're being quite the little bitch lately. You know how much I miss him and cannot wait to see him again, and you're allowing it to happen, but not until someone else comes and fucks with my heart and mind again. The incredible man in the South is the one who stole my heart, not that other one. Sure, he was fun, and I certainly do miss him, but really, Fate? Please stop this... you're making everything very difficult. All I want is to be in his arms again and to never have to deal with all this again.


You know, I never really believed in fate until I let go of all my bitterness, took a deep breath, and allowed things to happen again. It's a funny thing, fate. It brings people together and it tears them apart. It makes you hurt and it makes you feel absolute ecstasy. It sometimes takes lessons from Karma and kicks you in the balls. And yet, no matter how hard you try, you can never really escape the little bastard we call Fate. "They" say that if you love someone, you should let them go. If they come back, they're yours, but if they don't, then they never were. Fate is what brings them back. Fate is what brought us together in the first place. Sure, we have our problems, and sometimes we push each other's buttons, but at the end of the day, I still want to feel his arms around me and I still want to taste his kiss on my lips... even after the stupid fights, the long talks, the "break-up," and the distance between us... yeah, even after everything. I love you, Derek.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tell Me Something Good...

I feel so uninspired.

Have you ever had that feeling you just can't shake...? You know, the one that makes your heart feel heavy and even the sunniest days seem dark and gray? It's like, no matter how hard I try to see the bright side, and no matter how well things appear to be going, there's just something bringing me down, and I hate that. I like to be energetic and positive, but it feels so much more difficult than usual right now. Maybe I'm letting the little things get to me, or maybe I'm bogging myself down with everyone's issues and my own busy schedule. I don't know. All I know is that I've wanted to spend a lot of time by the water lately, just sitting on a rock staring into the blue of the ocean and the sky, allowing myself to become caught up in my thoughts. Maybe I just need a vacation. Yeah, that's got to be it...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I Could Really Use A Wish Right Now...

Well, hello there, summer. How nice of you to show up.

I feel like summer is slapping me in the face. Classes are over. I have no reason to step foot on campus until next January when I start the Spring semester. Italy is just fourteen and a half weeks away. Bartending classes start Monday. It has been absolutely beautiful out for the last couple of days. And yet, I am overcome with sadness and cannot wrap my head around it.

Perhaps it's nothing more than the three papers that need to be written and posted on Sakai before it's "offically" summer. Or perhaps it's simply that I'm exhausted and adjusting to living back at home with my family. But I think it has a lot to do with leaving a store I absolutely love working at to go work at a store that I can tolerate, spending next to no time with the man I love, and counting down the days until my boyfriend and best friend in the whole wide world up and leave for a few months. I'm proud of both of them and I love them both more than they know, and perhaps this is selfish of me, but I'm crushed that they're both leaving. Yes, I know I still have my Biff and I still have my (best)friend to make poor life decisions with and I still have my family and a number of other close friends who will be here for the summer. I love this fact. I do not, however, love that I won't be sleeping next to the man I love or lighting shit on fire, eating sherbert (and other unhealthy things), and watching shows like "Minute To Win It" with my "husband." I know that it's better for them that they go and do the things they need to do, interning and making names for themselves. I love that the two people closest to me are following their dreams and doing things they absolutely love. They have been presented with incredible opportunities and they would be insane to pass them up. But it's times like right now when I'm all alone at the wee hours of the morning that I realize how much I love them and how much I'm going to miss them. It kills me when I can't see Derek for a week at a time, and I hate when life gets in the way of hanging out with Matt for a period of time. But if I miss them this much being so close to them physically and having the opportunity to see them, realistically, as often as I want, how exactly will I be feeling a month or two from now when I'm overworked and overtired, wide awake in the wee hours of the morning because I can't sleep from having too much on my mind?

I consider myself to be a strong young woman. I love my life and I'm confident in my ability to be successful and happy while consistently surrounding myself with incredible people who make life just a little sweeter. I know I'll get through it, and I know that the days will fly by and I'll see them both in due time. I know I'll be just fine when I'm with Lisa or Jon or Alyssa. But I also know that when everyone else is fast asleep and dreaming of all the wonderful things in their lives, I'll be lying wide awake, counting the bumps on the ceiling and listening to the hum of the fan while I try to wish myself where they are. But please, don't feel bad for me. I wouldn't have it any other way (unless I could be with them, of course). It's only one summer. We have Italy, and then we have next year. It will all be just fine.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Let The Music Move Your Soul

There are so many times I'm minding my own business, listening to music while I write a paper or browse the net, and a song comes on that I just can't ignore. Maybe it's a certain word that brings your attention to the noise you've put on in the background, or maybe it's the first couple notes, but either way, you can't help but stop typing for a while and just listen. You know what I'm talking about. You know you've been there. And you know that there's nothing better than these songs that evoke emotion and make you pay attention. Sometimes they change your heart or your mind, and sometimes they remind you of someone or something. Sometimes you may even feel like the song was written just for you. Sometimes you don't really know what it is that forces you to listen, but you don't mind. The song may inspire you to do something wonderful, or the song may help to make up your mind about a situation. Whatever the reason, you can't help but listen, and these songs are the ones that make me fall in love with life all over again. :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Anything is Possible

"Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe."
-Gail Devers

Sometimes life likes to throw you a curveball. You can catch it and let it take you into a new direction, or you can allow it to knock you on your ass. Personally, I like the first option.

All in all, life has been pretty darn good to me. I have a supportive family, as dysfunctional as it may be. I have the best friends anyone could ever ask for - who tolerate my crazy, understand my incoherent texts and outbursts, can practically read my mind, and support the wild streak in me - all while somehow keeping me grounded. I have a wonderful boyfriend who has seen me at my best and at my worst and still thinks the sun shines out my ass. I have a solid job and I've been fortunate enough to work with some extraordinary people. I've had the opportunity to go to academically strong schools and pursue higher education. I've been blessed with all the things I need to stand on my own and make my way in the world.

I've realized recently, though, that I've been running myself absolutely ragged in the last couple of years. I'm tired. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. It's time for a major life overhaul. Now, I absolutely love my life, don't get me wrong. But at the same time, I realize that while life may be short, it's the longest thing I've got, so why not make the best of it? There's no sense in rushing through school and working like a dog when, at the end of the day, I don't feel satisfied. And to be completely honest, I feel most satisfied when I'm baking and I get to see my friends' and family's reactions to my creations, not when I ace an exam or nail an interview. This is precisely why I have decided to take a step back, slow my roll, and finally take care of me for a change.

I still believe strongly in the power of education. While I feel that right now it would be beneficial to my health and overall well-being to either take time off from school for a short while or lighten my course load a bit, I still have every intention of finishing my degree. However, I also believe strongly in chasing your dreams. I dream of doing a lot of things: graduating from college, working in sports entertainment, working in the PR field, getting married, raising a family. But most of all, I dream of someday owning and operating my own super cool bakery-cafe type thing.

I absolutely love to bake, and when I'm baking, I'm happiest. It keeps me sane and I love creating new sweets and treats that my friends and family enjoy. There's nothing better, I think, than making someone smile. I've realized recently that not only am I having a slight love affair with my mixing bowls, I'm also pretty good at baking. I don't want to sound pretentious or anything, but I love the fact that people ask for my recipes and that people who don't even know me think I'm great based on the things that come out of my oven. It's a pretty good feeling when I meet someone for the first time and they hug the shit out of me because they were given one of my cookies. In all honesty, if I could bake every single day for the rest of my life, I would die happy. I hope that someday, preferably before I'm old and senile, I have the ability to open my own bakery-cafe.

This is my vision:
- Brightly colored walls and decor
- Comfortable seating arranged in a way that facilitates community and conversation
- A large glass counter full of my specialties. Each baked good will be of my own recipe and made from scratch daily.
- The people working behind the counter and baking in the back with me will all be friends. It will be a family&friend business, owned and operated.
- Free WiFi for all patrons!
- A friendly and comfortable environment with uplifting music playing overhead, somewhere people will designate as their "spot" to hang out.
- Fruity drinks and coffee beverages on the menu
- Daily specials written on chalkboards
- Suggestion board for patrons to request baked goods
- Unassuming exterior: red brick or white store front with a sign reading "Becca's Sweets and Treats" hanging above the door

In the meantime, though, I'm going to continue to bake eighty cookies at a time in the middle of the night for no reason whatsoever, and consequently become the Cookie Fairy - dropping them off at various locations to the people whose days might need an extra sprinkle of sugar. Sounds like a sweet deal, no?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pay it Forward

Every time I begin to lose faith in humanity, someone does something to change my mind. Sometimes it's something as simple as holding the door open for me or lending me the penny I'm short at check-out. Sometimes, though, someone goes completely out of their way to do something nice, and I cannot help but smile.

This past Saturday I was at work, much like every other Saturday. This Saturday, though, I was a cashier rather than a CSS, so I naturally had more interaction with customers than normal. A woman came through my line to pay for her groceries and noted her Girl Scout cookies were already paid for. I smiled, and started a conversation with the woman. We discussed our favorite cookies, and I mentioned that mine hadn't come in yet, so I'd be sure to stop by on my way out to buy some from the girls selling them at the door. I finished ringing out and bagging her order. She paid, thanked me, and left. A few minutes later, I was bagging at the register next to me when I saw the woman again. She was coming toward me, with her carriage still full of groceries. I asked if she needed anything. She said, "No, no, but I was just on my way out and the girls were packing up their stuff..." to which I replied, "Aww, alright... next time, I guess," with a half-hearted smile. She cut off the end of my sentence by tossing something to me and saying, "but I got you your favorites. Enjoy!" I looked down at what I had caught - a box of thin mints! My favorite! I thanked her and tried to give her the money for them. She just smiled, told me not to worry about it, and left without another word.

It's so wonderful to know that there are still kind and unselfish people left in this world. It's a breath of fresh air when someone does something out of the kindness of their heart to completely change your day. Nothing could wipe the smile from my face that day. And since then, whenever someone does something that really gets on my nerves, I remember her: I remember her kindness and the way that she took the opportunity to change my day. I haven't seen her since Saturday, and I don't know if I ever will (though it's likely - it's a small town), but I hope that if I can't tell her how she alone changed my outlook on humanity that someone else will. It's this kind of person that the world needs.

Remember to pay it forward. When someone does a random act of kindness for you, I hope that you pass it on and do the same for someone else. It could make their day. Or, it could completely change their perception of humanity. Don't be afraid to be extra kind, thoughtful, or sensitive to someone. Don't be afraid to hold the door or lend a penny. It's the little things that matter most.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Life is a highway, and I'm gonna ride it...

I've neglected this for a month and a half now. When, exactly, did it become okay to have your days so jam-packed that you couldn't find even ten minutes to write a blog post. It's certainly not that I haven't had anything to talk about; it's actually quite the opposite. I just don't have time to blog much anymore. Tonight, though... tonight, I'm taking a short break from the mound of schoolwork and internship applications to talk about something that's been driving me to near insanity these last couple of weeks: restlessness.

Life's funny. I've been absolutely swamped with work since the semester started. I've been getting sleep at the most random hours, going to bed well after 3am on a regular basis, and typing out paper after paper with such fervor that my fingers get tired. Even with such a ridiculous amount of work piled up around me, I feel restless. I'm bored with my life. I need an adventure. Don't get me wrong, I love my life: the people in it are incredible, my job is pretty good to me, and I'm showing academia who's boss. But the problem I'm having is that for the last 19 years, 7 months, and 3 days, I've hardly known anywhere outside of Rhode Island. Sure, I've taken road trips all over New England and visited most of the states on/near the east coast, but I'm ready to leave for an extended period of time.

I've been applying for internships all over creation for the sole reason that I can no longer tolerate living, working, and going to school in Rhode Island. I'm just sick of it. I know that there are so many opportunities for me outside of Rhody. I love Rhody, don't get me wrong, but I'm ready to spread my wings a bit. I'm beyond ready to find my place in the world and make a name for myself. I am so ready, in fact, that I have taken to the idea of relocating to the other side of the country. Really, though, I'll go wherever I can find a good internship, not just for the position, but for the adventure of living in a new place knowing no one.

Looking into the future a bit, here's how my life is going to go:
This summer: internship. Boston, Conneticut, New Jersey, Washington DC, California... Rhode Island as a last resort.
This fall: study abroad in Florence, Italy. Byebye, America. I'll spend time in England and probably a few other European countries in the four months I'll be abroad.
Spring 2011: Hello stress. Last full semester of college. 18 credits. Commencement in May.
Summer 2011: last college class ever... most likely online, too. Byebye, academia. New job, hopefully... for that matter, hopefully outside of Rhode Island.
Fall 2011: first fall since 1994 that didn't involve a classroom, textbooks, and homework. First fall as a part of the rat race. First fall entirely on my own, likely in a place where I know next to no one.

The best part of all this? I cannot wait. I'm not afraid of being lonely. I'm not afraid I won't like it wherever I end up. I'm ready for an adventure. I'm ready to meet new people, discover new places, and put everything I've learned over the last 20 years or so to the test. There's a restlessness inside me that I cannot ignore. I'm going to follow my heart and follow my dreams. I'll let them guide me. I won't take a map. After all, life is a journey, isn't it?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's Your Life

The next month or so should be intense. Classes are starting again on Monday, and with no more than four semesters left of college, I am more than excited to get back to the old grind. It'll be difficult, as I'm again balancing an over-sized course load with work and a social life, but it'll be so worth it. Add to the excitement of a new semester a new relationship with a wonderful guy, Monty Are I's acoustic show on January 30th, possibly the Joe Perry Project on February 6th, PostSecret on February 12th, Vanna on the 13th, Starting Over Tuesday on Valentine's Day, and a hockey game on the 19th, and you have yourself one very enthusiastic and positive girl.

Having a positive attitude is important. The more positive you are, the more likely you are to accomplish your goals and achieve everything you dream. It's fact, studied and proved by behavioral analysts. I wake up every day and decide that it's a good day. Why? Because I'm alive. I'm breathing. I have everything I need. Sure, there are obstacles in my way. I have huge dreams and high ambitions. I know that the most worthwhile things in life never come easily, but that's alright. I'm willing to work for these things.

It bothers me that people often throw themselves pity parties because they don't seem to understand that not only can we choose the light in which we see the world, but also our own destiny. The world is not going to change itself; nor is it going to give itself to you. Your dreams will not fulfill themselves. Things will not just fall in your lap. YOU must get off your lazy rear end and change things for yourself. You are the only one who can fulfill your dreams. There is no sense in whining about what's going wrong; it won't change a thing. Instead, figure out where the real problem lies and do something about it. You are capable. Choose to acknowledge that.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Perfect Strangers

I cannot help but wonder sometimes if there is a greater power... a power that controls our lives to some extent and guides us along the way. I'm not the religious type, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason and that the people in our lives are there with purpose. I believe that each and every one of us is here to achieve something, no matter how great or small it may seem.

There are people I meet and I wonder how it's even possible that our paths collided. With hardly anything in common at the surface aside from a mutual friend or two, it's difficult to understand right away why we become involved in the lives of the people we do. We choose to let certain people into our lives, usually with little to go on besides a first impression. Why, though? Why should I allow a perfect stranger into my life and give him my time, let alone my trust? That's just it, though. These people are perfect strangers. They somehow fit into our lives just right. We are drawn to them for one reason or another. In time, we may fall into a perfect harmony with them and they will follow us through our lives as friends or as lovers. It amazes me, though, that in this great big world with millions of people, we find the right ones for us. We somehow manage to find the individuals who will influence us, move us, change us, love us. How? Chance? Fate? A greater being?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Close Your Eyes; Feel Instead.

I know, I know... fourth one tonight. What can I say? I'm on a roll.

"You closed your eyes. That was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too-even when you are in the dark. Even when you're falling." - Tuesdays With Morrie

Above is one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books. The book is my favorite for a reason. Sometimes, you really do just have to close your eyes and feel something to believe that it's there. You cannot see love, but you certainly feel it, especially when you close your eyes. Remove the tangible, the visible, the definite, and you will find everything you've been looking for. You'll find love, trust, and honesty. You'll also find heartache, lies, and worry. The most real things are the things you feel when you close your eyes. They may not be perfectly apparent to the eye, but to the soul they are undeniable.

The topic of trust is, well, an interesting one to discuss. Trust has to be a mutual thing. Without trust, you have nothing. Trust and love go hand-in-hand. You cannot truly love someone until you establish trust with him or her. Trust cannot be given; it must be earned. Trust is honest. To truly trust someone is to believe that he or she will always be there to catch you when you fall, to support you even on your worst days, and to never betray you.

That's the thing, though, with trust. You put your complete faith in someone, hoping that this person will never give up on you or let you crash and burn. Most people will eventually let you down, and yet you continue to trust in others. Perhaps, as human beings, we are gluttons for punishments. Perhaps we are hopeful. Perhaps we know that eventually there will be that one person who will not let us down. It's that person to whom each of us will finally give ourselves fully. It is that person you will see and feel when you close your eyes. It is then, with your eyes closed and your heart open, that you will find everything you didn't even know you were looking for and you will realize just how worthwhile it was to overcome all those obstacles along the way.

Those Were The Days...

There are some parts of my childhood that I will never be too old to enjoy. Oreos, for example, are still my favorite store-bought cookie, but only if they're double-stuffed and paired with a glass of milk. Swings still make me feel like I can fly, but it hurts more to hit the ground than I remember as a child. I'd still kill for a cup of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows after playing in the snow. Man, those were the days.

It's funny how as we get older, we seem to feel that we are no longer allowed to enjoy the things we loved as kids. In reality, though, we are every age we've ever been. We grow older, yes, and we experience new things in time that make us mature into adults, but you cannot tell me there is not a child still within you. You cannot honestly tell me that in your adult life you have never had the urge to jump in a pile of leaves or make a snowman, or that you don't miss feeling uninhibited by life and consequences every now and again. What about your favorite cocktail? It's basically kool-aid for big kids. You like it because it's tasty despite its complete lack of nutritional value. We may have degrees, jobs, and bills, but we still enjoy the little things - sneaking a cookie before dinner, sliding down the biggest slide at the playground in the middle of the night, and the snow angels we make with the little ones we love. We are, believe it or not, still kids at heart.

Bad? Not A Chance.

What makes a person good or bad? Are people truly one or the other? What qualities define a person as one or the other? What if a person has the qualities of both the good and bad?

There are times when awful things happen to people and we find ourselves thinking, "he had that coming," or, "she never deserved such a thing to happen." Why? Why is it that for some people we call it karma but for others it's bad luck? Why is it justifiable for one person to do something particularly horrid to another, but not for someone else? "Oh, but you're such a good person... it was just a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes," may come out of the same mouth that condemns another person with, "You're going to Hell; there was no excuse for that." It's amazing what double standards we have. It's absolutely terrifying that what is okay for some is not for others. Who are we to judge? Who are we to condemn one person and put another on a pedestal?

I know people who are convinced they are "bad," when in reality, they've finally just grown a backbone. It does not make you a bad person to speak your mind. It does not make you a bad person to stand your ground and not give up. It does not make you a bad person to believe in karma and feel that, well, we all get what we deserve. In the grand scheme of things, most of our day t0 day goings on are unimportant. They are not defining moments in our lives. They will not send us to Heaven or Hell. No, they will not label us as "good" or "bad" because of the small choices we make. The things that define who we are may not be the ones we think they are. You are not a bad person if, for example, you forget your best friend's birthday or you miss a family event every now and again. You are not a bad person for feeling angry or upset, for wanting others to see the world as you do, or for resenting another.

There are reasons that we feel the way we do. There are reasons we act in the ways that we do. There are reasons, yes, for the things we say and to whom we say them. The reasons may not necessarily be good ones, but they're there. There is always something that drives us to do the things we do, so can we really be faulted for it? This is why, and you may or may not agree, I believe that humans are inherently good. We may make poor choices and do things that society considers to be bad, but everyone is born with the ability to choose. We may choose to live positive, fulfilling, loving lives, or we may choose to rape, kill, and steal. I like to think, though, that deep down, beneath all the masks and the mistakes, everyone is good.

Hello, 2010!

It's a New Year. It's a new me. Well, that's not true. Like most people, I started my new year in style with friends at a party. Like most people, I have already broken my resolution. Again, like most people, I'm optimistic about the new year.

The year 2009 was an interesting one. It wasn't particularly awful, but it was nothing special, either. There were break-ups and hook-ups, laughter and tears, and a little bit of trouble. I worked like a dog, enjoyed time with my friends, and conquered the swine flu. I went on adventures to places around New England, chowed down at Denny's three hours away in the middle of the night, and made some incredible new friends. The year was a moderate success. It was less exciting than '08, but I really have no complaints. The year ahead is guaranteed to be another adventure, and I am more than ready to take it head-on. Watch out, 2010, I'm coming to get you!