who do you want to be?

when i was in college, one of my professors asked me a question that, at the time, seemed very random. she asked me “who do you want to be when you grow up?” i started to answer her saying “i want to be a…” and she cut me off saying “no… WHO do you want to be?”

i’ve been thinking about this conversation a lot lately. i have a career that i love, i own my own home, i’m generally very happy. but i’m not grown up. i’ve said it before, i’ll say it again… i never want to be “grown up” because that seems like the end of something rather than part of a journey. everyone always wants to ask you what you want to do with your life, what you want to be. but her question struck a chord with me. i don’t want to be a what. i want to be a who. now who that who (haha sounds like owls) i’m still figuring out. here’s what i have so far:

i want to be the kind of person who

  • is thankful of everything she has but isn’t so humble as to not try for her dreams.
  • loves without boundaries, without strings.
  • works for a living but doesn’t live for working (this one is really hard for me).
  • finds beauty in the pretty and in the ugly.
  • is fair and just.
  • will turn the other cheek once but won’t be walked over.
  • gives back to this amazing thing we call life.
  • trusts other people (also really hard for me) and who people can trust in.
  • has faith in something.
  • does laundry in a timely manner. i believe this one may sadly neve be accomplished. i hate laundry.
  • saves the world, one act at a time.
  • smells the roses. and then takes a picture of them to keep that memory with her.
  • for-real-smiles too much (none of that fake crap)
  • helps peole because she wants to, not because she has to.

i’ve found that i like lists. i’m sure you, dear reader, have noticed it as well. i think i know why. they can be marked up, added to, or crumpled and thrown at a wall. there are so many ways to deal with a list. much easier than dealing with people.

so i’ve had this in the back of my mind for all these years. my “who” has changed a little over the years. i think this list has shaped “what” i’ve become. it’s because of the who that i decided to work in human resources, why i took up photography, why i am a regular blood donor. strange how one conversation 6 years ago has shaped me.

someone said something to me that is absolutely hilarious and absolutely true. i have adhd. i wasn’t diagnosed until i was through with school ironically. you see when i was growing up, having adhd had a stigma associated with it that was very negative. so people would jump through hoops to make sure there was no way their child(ren) had this ability. now it’s not as big of a deal and can be managed pretty easily and effectively.

so, i have a good friend who is also has adhd and he and i make jokes about it quite a bit. in reality it’s not fun, but if you can’t laugh about something like this it means the diagnosis owns you, not the other way around. anyways… he said to me this weekend that having adhd is like having post-it notes raining in your head. so true! think about what that would feel like (i mean without the papercuts to the brain) and you have an idea of what it’s like to live that life.

change of subject. as a service industry worker, we have quite a few traditions that we just love. one of the most loved (especially in restaurants) is what we refer to as “initiation.” this is where, basically, we get our rocks of by pulling pranks on new employees. now, i’m not much of a liar. in fact i’m a terrible liar. but, for some reason, i can convince new employees that a certain task i’m asking they do is perfectly legit and relevant to their job no matter how silly it may seem. this always works best if you have another restaurant close by that also participates. you can send people for all manner of things.

one time, we sent some poor kid next door to another restaurant for a steam hitch, a grill stretcher, a can of a.i.r., and some xp147 (i think that’s what we called it). well, he came back loaded down with some plastic tubing, some kind of hook-on-a-stick, a spray bottle of goodness knows what, and holding it waaaaayyyy out in front of him like it’s a bomb that could go off at any time, a cup filled with some unidentifiable liquid. seriously. it was hilarious watching him carefully pick his way across the parking lot, trying not to fall or spill or drop somehting. i would love to hear what they told him that liquid would do to make him so afraid of it.

but we waitstaff are a bit milder than the kitchen. see below. yes, it happens. all. the. time.

waiting

(hint hint… the water NEVER runs out.)

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i suppose it’s time to ‘fess up…

so i tried one of those online dating sites a while ago. there. i said it. i know that there are people everywhere that have met their significant other online and are happy as a unicorn on a cloud of rainbows, but i’ve never thought it would be for me. i’m more of a “i need to get to know you to your face” person. until a friend of mine talked me into it by convincing me it’s like “man shopping.” so i broke down and decided to try it. i mean what the hell right? here is what i learned: i’m glad i tried it so that i know for a fact, it’s just not for me.

now i know that by having this blog and putting my thoughts out there in the universe i probably share a little too much. but the thing is, i’m comfortable with myself (for the most part) and it’s just damn therapeutic to let things out of my head. i know that i should be writing it all down in a journal, but i realized that i like that other people can see my thoughts. i read someone elses random thoughts once and even though they will never know it, those random thoughts helped me go through something really tough and come out on the other side. so if my random, adhd, cray-cray, single 29 (!) year old thoughts can do that for someone else out there, i’m just gonna put it out there. it’s not like i’m telling my (or anyone elses) secrets… well except for this one. but it’s not really a secret anymore is it?

back to the post at hand. i share a lot. but what some other people share is way waaaayyy too much. something about being online gives people the idea that they can say things that are just not right. there are just some things on these sites that can’t be un-read. know what i’m saying? like the one guy who’s obsessed with chickens. {{inward shudder}} also… the propositions. oh dear. bless their hearts. and i mean that in the most southern way possible. do they think i’m some kind of… um… yeah there’s no nice word for that. i may not be a supermodel, but that does not mean i think any less of myself. and for someone to assume that i base my self worth off of what i look like is well… not. cool.

needless to say, i gave that up. i know that some people would say that you can’t judge the whole orchard by a few bad apples and i didn’t. i didn’t quit right after that incident, but it’s really just not my style.

fall

oh and rocktober has returned to town. i love this month. it’s beautiful and i can make my entire mortgage payment in like a weekend if i’m lucky. that being said, please as fall rolls around, if you are going out to eat in a tourist town, take care of your servers. this time of year is insane. especially if you are in a college football tourist town. and servers/service industry workers remember what i said, we are all in this together so help each other out. we’ll get though this one kickoff, one fallen leaf at a time.

ok. we’re done here.

it’s the little things in life.

i had a really good weekend. friday i took the day off, just to be off work, and wandered around my sleepy little town (which… come to think of it… isn’t actually that sleepy this time of year). i had an epic (as in multiple hours) long lunch with a dear friend… who is also probably the funniest person i know. we laughed until we cried, oh and i also stabbed the roof of my mouth with an oyster shell. it happens.

i also had the chance to go to a wake forest/nc state football game. i of course being the freakshow that i am, managed to get punched in the face (very much an accident) by an over excited fan. really? i’m the queen of wrong place/wrong time. i’m now the proud new owner of a mini black eye. it is a badge i wear with honor and pride (ok so maybe i cried just a little bit when it happened).

i also had the chance to shoot one of my best friends (no, not with a gun… with a camera) in her wedding gown for her bridal portrait. fortunately, she’s one of those people who loves to have her picture taken so, i went just a tad crazy. unfortunately, thanks to the government shutdown, i couldn’t use the location i wanted to use and had to go to my backups.

and yesterday i also got to spend the day with my perfect nephew. seriously, the kid is too cute for his own good. the whole ride he was studying me like i had two heads or something… it was hilarious. nothing i said or did phased him. but then he decided he liked me and tried to eat my hand. and my check engine light came on again on the way back up the mountain.

i know it sounds like i’m complaining about something that happened during each of these events. i’m not. in fact, the black eye incident is so funny to me i’m still laughing about it. the point that i’m trying to make is that it’s not the little things that can ruin an otherwise good day, they add a layer, they add color and vibrance.

it’s a lot like looking at a good photograph. doesn’t matter if it’s in color or not. the light areas aren’t the only thing that exist in the picture. to have a good picture, you have to have the darks. they balance. they make you appreciate the light. they add depth and importance. someone told me you can’t appreciate joy without pain, i get that now. it’s about the contrast, about not living in a flat world. embrace the darks.

in other news (i think i use that phrase too much but it’s such a good segway (did i even spell that correctly?))…

you know when you get a song stuck in your head and the more you try actively to not think of it so it goes away, the more it repeats? i’ve had a song by blues traveler (at least it’s good music) stuck in my head for days now. the thing is that the song isn’t relevant to my current situation (it’s about a break-up… yeah… ironic right?) so i don’t know why it won’t go away. i also don’t know where it came from, i must’ve heard it on the radio i suppose. doesn’t matter.

so in my search to get said song out of my head, i’ve been revisiting the music i grew up with. and i still love all of it, well all of it that i liked in the first place. sister hazel, blues traveler, goo goo dolls, etc. are the soundtrack of my youth and i love it. it’s been quite an experience reconnecting with songs that i still know all the words to. it’s funny how when i sing something, i can remember the words. i know more lyrics than any other type of information it seems. maybe i should have sung my chemistry homework in high school?

gah, i love music. and photography. and life.

it’s 4 am. where are your marbles?

DISCLAIMER: i started writing this at 4:17 in the morning going on only 4 hours of sleep. if it doesn’t make sense, set your alarm for 4:00 am and reread it… if it still doesn’t make sense, there’s nothing more i can do for you here. okthanksbye!

you know that phrase “you’ve lost your marbles?” where do they go when you lose them? i am speaking in the figurative, not literal sense. i haven’t played marbles in years. so i guess you could say, if i were in fact speaking literally, i lost mine years ago. however, as we are currently in the figurative world, i’ll say i lost mine about 17 minutes ago when i started laughing about the fact that yet again, it was 4:00 am and i was awake.

4:00 am seems to be my jam. somehow, when i look at the clock in the middle of the night it’s always 4 o’clock in the freaking morning. this is not something i relish, however it is something i accept. my compulsion to check the clock started years ago, i know it’s not healthy and all the sleep experts tell you not to, but if i don’t check it, i can’t go back to sleep. i wouldn’t generally describe myself as an OCD person… 87.2% of the time i’m much more of a go-with-the-flow type, but it’s little idiosyncrasies like this that just make me awesome.

the problem i have with waking up at 4 is that when i’m anxious about something or stressed or sad, that is the only time of day i just can’t turn off my emotions. i can’t block thoughts from my head so when i’m not in the best place mentally and i wake up in the middle of the night, not-so-stellar things happen. that’s the problem with being someone who compartmentalizes things in her brain, sometimes those compartments come bursting forth in a blaze of glory when you least expect it.

but it’s ok.

i have to remind myself that sometimes, it’s ok to lose your marbles for a minute. you’ll find them again (or you’ll set up shop in a mental institution… either way, at least you have a plan). so today… tonight?… instead of a panic attack, i giggled. some might say maniacally, but hey, it kept me breathing right? and i decided to put my time to good use. now that i have recorded my thoughts for posterity sake, i’m going to run some errands.