Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rhapsody in Lavender

I grew up hating the scent of lavender. 

Mother told me that it was good for headaches, and she frequently suffered from what the doctors called migraines: painful, nearly devastating bouts of light and sound sensitivity with just a hint nausea and discomfort. She would apply little drops of it behind her ears and on her temples and then leave the bottle open so that the aroma could waft through the room.  I used to think that the aroma therapy notion was nothing but a hoax.  Something about a smell being able to heal: it’s odd and doesn’t feel like it’s all that researchable.  Certainly, it’s testable, but it feels more like pseudoscience than true therapy.  I guess you could say I’m skeptical?

There was a woman in my hometown that wrote this book called Natural Beauty that explored the properties of natural ingredients and their healing powers for the human body.  Even now, I can see the green and purple cover, and the very alluring photo of the author—beautiful, by the way.  But when I think about the information inside the well presented cover, behind the smiling blonde, I just immediately start to think about lavender.  The soft, floral scent; the gentle, cooling oil; the subtle, delicate color: hardly anything wrong with it on paper.  Still: I could not bear to be around the flower.  Not one bit.  I would sit in the bathroom and hide the scented candles in drawers and put chapstick on my nostrils to filter away the minty, natural nastiness that comes with the territory.

I used to think that my mom would just leave out lavender products to annoy me.  She knew I hated it (and I don’t even use that word), but would constantly leave it around the home because it calmed her, helped her, healed her.  All I felt was ill.  Funny, no?  That one little flower can help a person so much, but hinder another to the point of discomfort and, on more than one occasion, disgust.  Something about that purple plant: it’s just not for me.

And then River Rock brought it on board.  Lavender coldpress, lavender simple syrup, lavender lemonade, lavender latte, lavender…I think you get the picture.  It’s already an overwhelming product to be around: and now it’s permeating my workplace?  Look at our current special board.  Midnight Garden.

“What’s in a midnight garden?” –Clueless Customer

“Well, our midnight garden is the result of one of our bakers’ favorite creations, the midnight garden scone.  It’s made like a mocha, that’s our chocolate from Ghiradelli, with milk, and two shots of espresso.  Then we add our own simple syrup that comes from locally sourced and extracted lavender.  It’s quite the delicate drink!  If you’d like, you can try it iced or hot, or even with white chocolate…”  -Jolly Josh

People eat it up.  They hear the word lavender and they perk right up.  What is it about that little flower that makes everyone so delighted?  It’s the color, right?  It’s a nice, light purple so I can understand the appeal.  But everything else about it is just so repulsive.  It’s pungent, overriding, and—to be a little anthropomorphic—cocky.  It’s an arrogant little plant; it’s pretentious and condescending. 

“Look at me!  I’m lavender.  I’m delightful!”
Yeah, yeah.  You’re nice.  You’re soft, you’re friendly.  You’re a lot of things to a lot of people.

To me: you’re just that little flower that triggers memories of all those times spent in the bathroom trying to avoid my family.  Memories of sitting in my room, plugging my nose, and finding ways to ignore the upper half of the house. 

If anything: lavender reminds me of being lonely. 

Tonight I tried an Iced Lavender Latte.  And just as the acronym suggests: all I felt was ILL.

But worse than ill in the sick sense, I felt sad.  I felt like that little boy in his room with his blankets and his books and no one around to say: hey, why don’t you step out of this box of boredom and enjoy some time with another person?  Take your nose out of pages and your eyes off of words and talk to your friends, to your family, to anyone other than the lonely kid in the mirror.

I was surrounded, enveloped by movement and people and energy.  Yet, standing there behind the counter, trying to wash the taste away with water and whole wheat cranberry bread, I was eleven. 

I was eleven and alone.

I was eleven and alone and dwarfed by a plant that any child could pluck from the earth.

And all I could think?

What did I do with my chapstick?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tin Foil Advice

“Sometimes bad things happen to good people.  And sometimes, bad thing happen…to you.” –Karen Walker

Well, Thursdays actually used to be my favorite day of the week when I was in middle school.  I am pretty sure this was a result of a desire to stand out, to be odd, to be weird.  To be anomalous.  To manipulate attention and intrigue.  To bring the spotlight down and focus it in on e in one tight, burning blast of light.  I realize that’s an odd way to stand out, but I think you would be surprised just how much impact a tiny little detail like that will have on a person.  See, as soon as you wonder why a person would pick such an odd day like Thursday, or why they would posit any other unique fact about them, you’re consciously thinking about them; you’re giving them attention, even if it’s unseen.  It’s the same principle behind me saying my favorite holiday is St Patrick’s Day.  On paper: sure. I am Irish, love the color green, have a small build like a leprechaun—though little Stevie Briles may be more capable of representing such a body type—and have been known to enjoy a drink or two (or more!) here and there.  But, really, who likes St Patrick’s Day more than Christmas (or the religious equivalent) or Independence Day or, oh I dunno, May 14th day?  I just don’t think that the 17th of March is any better than any other holiday season.

That being said, if someone tells you that Thursday or St Patrick’s is their favorite of all other possibilities: they’re lying and they want you to remember them.  Take it from a former middle school attention whore: Me!

Thursdays blow, my dear attractive readers.  They really do!  I think today is perhaps a little special—see third presentation of the week, sweaty back, spilled coffee, geology lab, six hours of straight class, dumbass prick and stupid girl (maybe I shouldn’t say stupid as she might actually have a minimal IQ), and my dying phone—but goodness, folks! 

Thursdays can S my D.

Still even when jackass extraordinaire attempts to make me look like an idiot in class—for READING A BOOK nonetheless—I immediately snap into the sarcastic (well, more sarcastic), caustic, bitter, and ruthless version of Josh that, in response, makes a smartass comment that results in laughter at said asshole’s expense.  Meh.  Don’t care too much that he has laughed at and shut up by my response, but I instantly fell guilty  whenever the angry and poisonous mode slips through the cracks and says three cheers to making myself look fantastic.  It’s not really worth it at the expense of others. 

Side note:  How fitting is it that as I write this, reflecting on this Thursday, Jeff Haun brings up psychological defense mechanisms?  I think it’s my favorite portion of psychology and blogging is one of my favorite activities!  Coincidence?  Definitely.  Just a freak happening, but kinda weird right?  (cue that one song that’s like do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do.  Ah.  Yes.  The Twilight Zone Theme Song)

AND: Proof that last blog I hit a note-

“Would you like to watch clip?  We don’t have to watch it if you’ve all seen it…Should we watch it? –Haun
*Class nods*
“Okay, cool.  I think you’ll like it” –Haun
*Class nods*

See!  I wanted to watch the movie in class; I knew that I didn’t have anything against the weird substitute and lack of conversation!  In fact: I realized I would RATHER watch a clip in class than continue talking about conditioning!  Yawnsauce.

Tangent!  Back to mean Uncle Josh.

So: it’s a guard.  It’s instantaneous, rather unforeseen, and so defensive.  Funny, certainly, but I am funny anyway!  I don’t need to be verbally humiliating toward someone to get a laugh.  I mean, I walk into a room and people feel butterflies and smile—Wouldn’t you?!  I wouldn’t blame ya.  I’m pretty fantastic.  *Gross wink face and a shoulder smile here*

Yet, I wonder if it’s not just healthy to snap sometimes.  To say, hey, fuckface, you’re being a tool.  Grow up and figure your shit out.  I imagine it’s probably okay to do every once and a while.  In a way, it’s just as vulnerable to take a moment of stance and say: “alright, really, that’s enough.”  It puts you in a place of discomfort, of anxiety, of ohshitwhatamIdoingthisisgoingmakemelooklikesuchanidiot.”  But, vulnerability and understanding of one’s own moments of fragility reinforces character and improves self esteem and awareness.  Cool, right? 


For now: I think I will take the advice of a Dove Chocolate.

“Do what feels right.”


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Why is it that when we were younger all we ever wanted for class was for it to be nothing but movies, demonstrations, and naptime?  (To be fair, all I want these days is naptime--seriously, how flipping great would that be?!)  But now, every time I see that we have a film screening or a lab or a demo, the last thing on my mind is: I can't wait for class today.  I would just rather watch it on my own time and take some time off instead of heading to an hour and a half of boring, uninspired material.

Why is that the case?  How did this change?  When did I leave the nursery of entertainment and become this person that would rather be intellectually engaged by discussion?  God: growing up is icky.  But nice, in an odd, sort of sad way.

 Anyway, as you've probably gathered by now, I have a film screening in class today.  The Lobotomist in Abnormal Psychology.  I guess it could be worse?  I could be watching a film based on the life of the rulers of Eastern Europe and their collective arrogance, pretentious spirit, and overall bitterness toward the world or a terribly funded christian documentary on salvation.  Yeah:  those could be pretty gross--and not even in the good way that I typically use the word 'gross!'

Mostly: I am bothered that the real professor for this class isn't even overseeing the film screening.  It's some shit-grinned dude wearing North Face sportswear and drinking a Mountain Dew that clearly came from the six pack of bottled soda he opened this morning and will finish tonight.  He yells at some guy in the hall and laments his ability to use a computer correctly.  I realize this isn't important; hell, I am fully aware that none of this instance will matter in an hour's time.  But: MY GOD, why do we have substitutes in college?

END RANT.  Yuck.

Sorry 'bout that.  I've just seen The Lobotomist more times than I would like to admit...for pleasure nonetheless.  The book is better, just we're all aware.

ZOMG.  Do you think that's what this is really about?  Maybe I just have a problem with good books being bad movies?

Yep.  That's it.  It's not the faux instructor, it's not the lack of conversation, it's not even the growing up!  It's simply that good books should be just that: good books.

So this tends to happen a lot.  ONe thing sets me off and then I realize: hey, you're not actually that bothered by this moment, it's something completely different and often unrelated.  Maybe it's the Psychologist in me that tries to find the root of all concern, the things that bother and why they bother.  See: sometimes I can be reflective!

In other news:

Loss of appetite, Onset of physically symptomatic nervousness, Volatile mood, Endless stream of thought

Yep.  This is either going to suck or kick ass.

Let life's polarized volley of emotion being!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gaycation: An Autobot Story

When you watch a show like RuPaul’s Drag Race, there are certain things that you just come to accept about the commercial interruptions that occur throughout the show.  For instance, because I watch the show online, there’s the annoying tendency for the commercials to repeat over and over and over at each interlude.  This means that for every 15 or so minutes of the show that you actually see, you get to enjoy forty-five seconds of the same commercials.  Recently, the first ad that shows during every break has been a commercial featuring a gorgeous black man and his Enrique Iglesias look-alike boyfriend.  Sexy right?  Like maybe the hottest commercial ever?  It’s basically about two very attractive men hanging out in the sun.

But then, there’s always something or someone that has to ruin the beautiful moment.  In the case of this commercial: it happens twice.  First, they use the word ‘gaycation.’  Really, really LOGO?  That’s the best word play you can come up with for your little ditty of eroticism?  Not only that, but is word play even necessary when all you’re trying to do is get a couple of dudes to fly to a warm destination?  Let me tell ya, from the chilly part of the country that I watch Drag Race from, there is absolutely no need for anyone, anyone to say the gaycation to make the beach and the sand sound appealing.  Second, there’s this super awkward shot of their arms.  The black guy is reaching toward something that is glistening, GLISTENING in the sun. Turns out it’s an arm.  Seriously?  I felt like I was watching Twilight. (And yes I am aware that is a title, and no I will not give it the honor of italics or quotation marks or even an underline.  Come to think of it, I might just underline it because I find underlining so appalling.  Haha.  God.  Such a loser!)  Anyway, the shot is awkward and I literally cannot watch it without cringing.  Somehow, I always forget that there’s this awful moment of armness and poor word choice.

The second commercial that has been playing recently, however, has been for some new animated series about Transformers.  I don’t think it looks very good/interesting/entertaining/fun/enjoyable/takeyourpicit’sprobablyawful.  Still, it was a much better commercial than sand arms gaycation.  So, naturally, I commented on it the first time I saw it: “Cartoons!  This is my kind of commercial!”  To this, my roommate replied, “they just start having sex.”

Okay, at first I was disturbed.  Deeply.  But then, I had this awkward thought.  What if, just what if(!) it really was some vehicularized homo show?  I mean, you’d watch it right?  OH YEA.  Big time.  It would be too odd to pass up!  It would have to be one of those shows that you secretly watched, but told people you had never even heard of it; the ultimate guilty pleasure.

(At this point, the battery in my laptop fell out of the back of my PC and now I’ve completely forgotten where this was going...isn’t it odd how quickly we can lose our train of thought when we’re just rambling to begin with!)

Haha. Such a dead post.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

C'mon, You Gusties

If there’s anything I value in others, it’s their power to make me laugh.  If you can crack me up or make me smile, frequently laugh yourself, and have a great sense of humor, chances are nigh perfect that we’d get along great.  In fact, most of the people that I regard as my best friends or closest acquaintances have the innate ability cheer me up.  And why shouldn’t they?  They’re my friends!  I was pondering the impact of laughter in my life recently, though, and I happened to be reading The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen.  Exciting, I know.  ANYWAY: the character Gregers is bickering with his father who says: “Laughter doesn’t come so easily to a lonely man, Gregers.”  And I suddenly thought, My goodness!  How terribly sad!  Laughter makes the world go round, fills us with joy, and creates cultures of creativity and positive thinking.  How terrible it must be to be lonely!

But then another thought: if laughter always comes easily, are you ever lonely? 

I’ve been a psychology major for long enough to know that just because A is not B, it does not necessarily follow that B is not A.  Okay, fair, you don’t need to be a psychology major to know this is true.  Really, you just need some common sense, a good head on your shoulders.  And really it doesn’t even need to be good.  It could be filled with bad thoughts and icky images and terrible jokes and you could still grasp the above concept.  It’s a logical fallacy or something along those lines?  Anyone know?  Whatever.  Getting tangential.

What I am getting at here is that maybe laughter is sort of shot of anti-loneliness.  Isn’t that nice?  Next time you’re sitting alone in your room, listening to Florence + The Machine, weeping quietly because the PBR you’re drinking is now warm, and dreading the meeting for the night because it’s the one thing standing between you and a double Tanqueray Tonic, just remember to LAUGH!  Even amidst the terrible preceding situation—that I’ve completely imagined—there’s just something so relieving about a giggle, guffaw, or scoff.  Oh, you can also feel free to snicker, chortle, chuckle, hoot, or titter.  Just promise that you will never gurgle.  Ish.  That word is not the same as laugh, thesaurus.

So these thoughts on laughter and the like were totally derived from this situation I found myself in last night in the Courtyard Café.  My friend and roommate, Kirsten Engel—ginger, funny, nice, bitey—approached me mid-homework and we discussed the dilemma of the following day’s shower.  If she showered in the morning, she’d have to go to Aerobics and just get sweaty; if she showered after, she might not have time to dry her hair before class; if she showered that evening, we’d be in the same boat as the first scenario and it would be a waste of water and personal energy.  QUITE the situation, my friends. We discussed her options (loudly) while two girls from across the tabletops listened in while trying to complete their work.  We never reached a decision, but Kirsten still sauntered off, joyful and in an odd mood.  As she wandered over to the coffee desk, I noticed the girls ahead of me—the ones at the table—snickering in their Gustie Gear and Uggs.

I was bothered.  And not even because they were vocalizing their annoyance with our conversation (perhaps too loud, too inappropriate), but because it struck me in that moment that Gustavus Students were being mean to other Gustavus Students.  Granted: I’ve had the realization before; I am not so naïve that I believe everyone is smiles and friendly gestures.  It was just the wave of “Holy Shit.  We’re too mean to each other.” 
Listen, I get that I’m no perfect being of congeniality and contentment, but I would be willing to put myself up there with some of the nicest people you’ve met.  Jesus…conceited much? Haha!

For real though: LAME SAUCE, ladies!  Life’s to freaking short to spend time belittling or mocking.  Let’s all take some initiative to put some smiles on some faces, rather than rip said faces to shreds.

You know what the nicest thing about having this blog is? 

I get to learn some lessons along the way too.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You

Randomly: Since when has Colbie Caillat been attractive?  I was watching this Youtube video of her and I was like: Damn…when did this happen?

My friend Jacque (pronounced Jack-ee) and I were texting after last night’s episode of Glee—great, by the way—and we were talking about how it felt to be back in the United States now that we’ve all been at our schools for a month or so.  She had asked me about readjusting to life on campus and then explained that she was asking because she thought I was having the least trouble of anyone in our little group:    
"You just seem to be the strongest one of us." -Jacque
"Of all of us?" -Me
"Yea" -Jacque
"Haha: You know I love a strong exterior." -Me
"Yes you do." -Jacque

It struck me in that moment that I’m not very good at being vulnerable, that I am much, much better at being the strongest: the most put together, the person ahead of the game.  Oddly, I think that this is so unlike me that I might scoff at anyone else who suggested it!  I mean, sure, I’m a good student, have decent time management skills, impressively serve a mean espresso, and still throw a fantastic party on the weekend, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not cracking, crumbling, breaking on the inside.

I mean, I’m not, and that’s a little melodramatic.  But just because the cover is pretty, doesn’t mean the words make any sense.

Anyway, the conversation spawned talks about boys and girls and those things we do that make us feel good and the way that minutes on the face of the clock count too high, too fast.  And when we discovered that time has passed so fast in the last several weeks, I was reminded of this fantastic book I’ve read in the last month: "Time is funny lately, nothing to do with clocks" –Victor Lodato’s Mathilda Savitch.  Maybe my favorite book?  And yes, I am including The Shadow of the Wind, One Day, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.     

Another quote from the same work: “I wondered why god would unlock a door just to show you emptiness. It made me wonder if maybe he was in cahoots with infinity.”

I think he/she/it might be.

I hope those quotations are correct.  I am trying them from memory as I just leant the book to a good friend of mine (Kyle Jensen?  He’s okay…[crafty laughter]…), and I am far too lazy to look them up just a website search away.  Regardless, I am pretty positive they are spot on.  I wrote them down on a note card somewhere because I’m a freak when I read!  And even when I am not reading really…  Whaeva!

Speaking of reading, I wish I had majored in English at GAC and not Psychology.  That was a misstep, my friends.  Even DDM—that’s Doctor Deborah Downs-Miers, folks—wishes I had, and I don’t hold her as someone easy to impress.  I feel like she’s rather particular when it comes to her students, but maybe that’s my outrageous ego!  Haha.  In all seriousness, I have to let her down tomorrow and I am not excited to do so.  I really, really enjoy her teaching style and find her to be so interesting.  Unfortunately, I think that Science Fiction is just not my genre, Modern Drama will definitely be more up my alley.  And why is this you ask?  Well, if I am going to be in full disclosure mode for this little bloggy of mine, I should just admit that I have been thinking a lot lately about applying for a playwriting program for grad school!  (See, this is why I am taking a year off!  Go life!)

So I just emailed Mat Smart who taught the Playwriting course I took at Gustavus for some advice on where to start looking, what to be ready for, etc.  That was impulsive.  Which is so unlike me!  (eye roll)

Huh.  Okay, cool.  I hope I hear back from him soon.

In other news, LAURA FUCKING BADEN is back in the house!  So that’s killah.

Speaking of Killah, here’s a lyric to send you off to bed…or me off to bed, as it were: “But it’s just the price I pay, destiny is calling me, open up my eager eyes.  Cause I’m Mr. Brightside.”

Special Bonus Fact Time!  I have a playlist on my iPod titled Mr. Brightside and it consists of one song set to repeat…Losertown.  Population: me.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Here's to the Soundtrack of your Life

“How do you do that shit? How do you? How do you?  How do you?  How do you?  How do you?”

When Nicki Minaj sings, raps, dances, speaks: I listen.  I can’t help it.  There’s something so alluring about everything she does—she’s magnetic?  I guess for that to be true, I would have to be metallic, or at least my ears would have to be.  And then I have this terrifying thought that maybe my vestibular system is metallic and Minaj’s voice is actually magnetic.  Think about that for a second…that’s terrifying right? 

Right, I’m not crazy, I realize that none of the above is plausible, practical, or even interesting to think about.  It’s simply inane.  Silly ramblings really.  Nonetheless, I find myself wondering things like this all the time.  Odd things.  Ideas, thoughts, musings, and postulations that really have no basis in reality frequently pop up in the life of Joshua Plattner.  Yessirree: I’m a strange one.  Here are ten more examples:

1)      Is Rocko’s Modern Life a comment on the nuclear family, conventional beauty, and eating disorders? 

2)      Does embarrassment lead to the loss of an erection, or is humiliation simply a codeword for flaccidity?

3)      If I actually spend all my time on my tip toes, will someone notice, point it out, and then recruit me to study why walking on the balls of your feet and never allowing your heels to touch the ground is better for your posture?

4)      Sunglasses should be worn at all times because the sun is always out there waiting to damage your eyes.

5)      There’s nothing you can do about feeling like shit.  Sometimes, it just happens.  Try as you might to erase any feelings of self loathing or personal disregard, it might just be useful to take it in stride, grow up, and understand that you just have to take the bad with the good.

6)      Is Isabel Lucas actually wearing a baboon on her head as an accessory?  (To be fair, this isn’t an actual example.  In a photo taken by Mark Seliger that’s hanging on my wall, Isabel Lucas is actually posing with a baboon.  It just catches me off guard every once and a while.)

7)      Does music sound better when it functions as a sound track to your life?  I’m inclined to say yes.  For example: I’ve never been more interested in Maroon 5 then when I’m in a relational funk.  Whether it’s a failing friendship, acquaintanceship, a bad date, a bad night with the roommates, there’s just something about listening to She Will Be Loved that reminds me: this too shall pass.

8)      If I tried hard enough, I could actually summon gusts of wind to blow away my enemies, shape water into attack fountains, call forth vines from the depths of the earth to ensnare the stupid, and conjure fire in my hands to help heat this freezing cold house.  Oh, and what if I could do all of it at once and other people could too?!  Would there be contests to prove who was the best?  Who could possibly judge such a competition?  How would could you qualify to compete?  Maybe only certain people can do it?  Maybe people CAN do it, and I just don’t have such powers?  That’s depressing. LAME!  There’s that new film with Diana Agron and some terribly attractive dude about such powers (I think) and it would suck if they actually are capable of such things and it’s not special effects.

9)       Will I ever write something respectable?

10)   Does humidity actually change the way an espresso shot runs through a machine or is it some clever ruse by our superiors to maintain absolute focus when creating the perfect drink?  Is there a very frightening counsel of baristas that dictate such information?  OMG!  Are they the institutions of power that decide what a fact is?  This, my friends, is a terrifying thought.  Can you imagine if the world was run by baristas?  I can, and not only does it make me want to crawl into a hole and watch the world drown in hippy love, it also tastes delicious.

Yep: those are the kind of things that run through my head at all times.  If I am sticking out my tongue and “focusing,” I’m probably just thinking really fucking weird things and allowing my mind to swim through the masses of information that remains untapped in our every thoughtful atmosphere.  Oh, yeah, I think our minds leave our bodies and hang out in the air with other minds, that’s why we ask questions.  No.  I don’t actually think that, but it’s another thought.  And yes, my tongue is currently tapping the tip of my nose in rhythm with some songs by The Killers.  See: all the time.

“You’ve gotta help me out, don’t you put me on the back burner.”

Here’s something I wrote while I was reflecting on J Term the other day:

Snow and coffee taste so great together for one late lunch with you and the truth that’s easier to see why we and you and me could never be for good.  I get you’re sad and angry and cold and I don’t mean to say I told you so scream if you can and be mean and shout and crush that doubt that eats you up inside the kitchen with jars and cars and far away worlds that glow like stars across the dying sky that bleeds for you and I so that pain is painful and too much to handle when you can barely feel the sins of the flesh in that cold, cold soul and soulless night time sky cries out like wolves in woods and run for days through snow and cold and old fallen limbs and cracked, crooked rocks that jab at paws and cause pain and strain and strife and life is harder than we ever planned and more difficult to stand alone and tired and so afraid to speak my mind will never let me rewind, unwind be kind and careful and carefree to be the simplest me.

I’m not sure how I feel about it.  But there it is—some silly free writing.  Still, I wonder what was pressing at me so forcefully that I needed to spew it on to paper.  Meh, whatever!  Oh, that’s also characteristic of me: tossing aside my feelings, notions in favor of moving on.  Actualization or fear?  Interesting how they’re completely polarized and, yet, I’m not sure which of them it is.

Well, January Interim is over.  Overall, I would say that J Term was a success!  And how do I know this?  Take this quote from Sibley Mattson: “..because honestly, Josh, you haven’t changed at all.”  This meant all the world to me.  Oh, and I loved my class, I met some really, really awesome people (haha, I almost wrote ‘kids’ instead of people because I am so damn old around this place!), and I fell in love with this place all over again.  Oh, and I figured some things out.  I gained some relationships, and I lost a very powerful one; change has been tough, but mostly it’s just been a beautiful, beautiful thing.  And I am trying to embrace it.  More on that later?  Maybe.
“I think I’ll go to Boston.  I think I’ll start a new life.  I think I’ll start it over where no one knows my name.”

For now: I’ve learned something this January that I will forever remember about this month.  January of 2011 is when I decided to be happy.  I decided that there are far more important things in this life than living to please the people around you, living to make everyone else’s existence easier at the expense of your own sanity.  I’ve come in touch with Josh.  At least, I think I have.  I think I’ve started to peel away the layers of my self, of my being.  I’m discovering for the first time that there are parts of me that I really, really appreciate.  For now, here’s the most important one: I’m not going to grad school next year.  I’m taking a year off to figure out what makes me happy and I don’t give a damn if you think I’m making the wrong decision.  I’m not.

When I told my mother, she immediately said: “Well, I’m just worried you won’t go back.”  Okay, fair.  Statistically, I won’t go back to school.  Luckily, I’m not a number. 

I’m an individual.

I am an individual that values laughter and hitting the snooze button and embracing the day that I wake up to.  I am an individual who understands that education is important and who LOVES being educated.  So here’s this promise to anyone else, like rummy dearest who finds this decision to be devastating: I’m going to get an advanced degree, it just may not be in the year you all thought.  Also: this decision makes me happy, so I’d thank you to be happy for my happiness.  Happy, happy, happy.  Isn’t that what we’re all aiming for?  We are looking to experience bliss in life, to understand and constantly gather what makes us glad, joyful, beautiful.  What makes us whole.  What makes us complete.  What makes us…us.

So, yeah, it took 1600 words of distraction to set myself up with enough confidence to say it: but I’m taking a year off.  No, I don’t know what I am going to do, but I do know that I will be discovering more about my life goals and my self than I would in an educational institution.  Plus: it’s only a year.  Your plan for my life is only being detoured, controlling family forces, so don’t worry. 

So, for now, “today is gonna be the day that they’re gonna throw it back to you.  By now, you should have somehow realized what you gotta do.  I don’t believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now.”

In other news: life is ripe for the taking. 

For now, I have class tomorrow, the last first class of my undergraduate career!  Oddly, I’m not sad or worried or freaking out.  I am actually very ready: it’s time to live each day as a moment and embrace what comes my way.  This is just another opportunity.

“If you ever, ever feel like you’re nothing: you’re fucking perfect to me.”  Thanks, Pink, you’re the best.

Oh!  And this week, I’ve made myself a little bet.  I’m going to ask someone out for coffee. 

I’ll let you know how it goes.