My Best Friend

I was browsing through my reader (is that what it’s called? The subscription list? I think that’s what it’s called on here) and came across this post. The first line says, “A best friend is a home”, so I closed my computer and called my best friend.

It’s been about a month since I spoke to him, and talking to him today was just what I needed: some car talk, a kick in the butt, and a “love you Mol” before we hung up after an hour and a half. He’s like the older brother that I always wanted as a kid. I have two actual older brothers, but we’re not close. Not at all. They won’t even give me their phone numbers.

We met through a mutual friend when I was 16 and at boarding school. I e-mailed him for her (she wasn’t allowed) and then we started to strike up conversations. After I graduated, he drove to NY and spent some time with my family. The next year I went to Minnesota and spent time with his. It’s been like that for years now – back and forth. NY or MN. Now that I’m so much farther away, I wish I had taken more time for Minnesota. I spent my 21st birthday there (as some of you from Xanga know). We bought a case of beer and went fishing in the river by his house. One of his friends joined us and we ate pizza and started a campfire on the sand (they’re both boy scouts. Look at them go). That was my favourite birthday so far.

My little sister has taken to talking to him. Which is cool. It’s not like I have a monopoly on speaking with my friends. And he doesn’t tell her things that I don’t know. But it makes me feel a bit shit when I’m on the phone with her and I hear, “I was talking to Kevin the other day and…”. I get protective. He’s my friend first. Mine. Is that weird? I’m the same way with my friend Amanda, but she doesn’t talk to my family much, so it’s not nearly as bad.

Maybe it’s just because he was my friend for so long before anyone else knew about him. He was a secret friend. I could only talk to Jamie (mutual friend) about him because if we had been caught then my e-mail privileges would have also been taken away. They read all in-coming and out-going mail at the school, so I couldn’t write home about my new friend. I couldn’t even write to him except for e-mail. Things that start in secret don’t always last, but maybe when they do, the bond created is stronger.

I don’t know.

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Sweet treats

One of the females brought sweets into work today. My boss was eating the food she brought and commented, “you know, you really need to get married. Get married, have kids, and that’s it”. I was about to become offended when she responded with, “I know. I’m trying”.

I truly don’t understand that response. If you want to get married and have kids, that’s super chill. But why does that have to be it? And how do you passively accept someone saying that because of your baking? That’s probably the most sexist thing I’ve ever heard ever. If one of the guys had brought in cupcakes or something then they wouldn’t be told, “you need to just get married and have kids and that’s it”. Definitely not. If they were really excellent and made from scratch then someone might say, “Have you ever considered opening a bakery?” or “dude you should make these more often”. But they wouldn’t mention a need to settle down because of baking. It’s the most ridiculous thing.

Apparently some stuff went down at lunch that people knew I wouldn’t have been happy to hear. I was there, but re-reading some of my favourite Sherlock Holmes stories and paying absolutely zero attention to the conversation around me. Probably for the best. I snapped out of it when my boss said my name a few times. When I looked up at him confused he said, “see? Not paying attention”, shook his head, and I went back to my reading.

Reading is wonderful.

Identity

I am a 22 year old cisgendered, heterosexual female in the United States military. I am a yogi, a runner, a baker, a Disney lover, and turn a frighteningly embarrassing shade of red in public if you know exactly what to say (people catch on rather quickly). I take classes towards my degree when I have time, but am more than a little afraid to take a CLEP or DANTES because failure is my worst fear come true.

In my senior year of high school I fell asleep to nightmares every night. They made for some great English papers, but no one tried to help – even when I made it clear that they were actual nightmares and that I slept very little in fear of them. My 22 years on this earth are marked by a wonderful family and situation and memories, but also EDNOS, depression, self harm, fights, and anxiety – but as I’ve grown, I’ve learned to deal with things a bit better. Usually.

The most remarkable part of my identity that I can comment on is my intense fear of the unknown. Before I came to Korea I was so stressed out and afraid of leaving everyone and everything that I know that a rash broke out on my legs. My Doctor couldn’t explain it and was just as confused as I was.
I got here, settled in, made a friend, and it immediately cleared up.
This ties in with my fear of failure, as future success is unknown until it happens.

Over the years, I’ve gained weight, lost it, changed my mind about what I want to be when I grow up umpteen times (still not entirely sure), decided I wanted a ferret, no – a sugar glider, no – a dog, no – a mouse, no – a hedgehog when I finally get my own place. My actions have broken trust given to me by people I care about and theirs have done the same, while other actions have helped to build other relationships. I’ve hurt people I love and people I barely know in order to get ahead, and then I’ve felt immensely stupid because of my actions, but of course it’s too late by that time.

“I saw the birth of the universe and watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained. No time, no space. Just me! I walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a madman! And I watched universes freeze and creation burn! I have seen things you wouldn’t believe! I have lost things you will never understand! And I know things…”
Oh wait. That’s Doctor Who.

I guess that my thought, on this early morning, is that “identity” should be categorized as a verb, not a noun. We are ever-changing people with goals and dreams and trusts that don’t know how to stay put for more than a moment, and isn’t that wonderful and scary?

What or who is it, in your life, that you honestly crave? When you’re sad where do you turn to? When you’re feeling alone what gives you comfort? When you crave adventure where do you go?

Books have always been and will always be all of that for me. They are my source of adventure and companionship. Books can turn a mood towards whatever you’d like as long as you pick the correct one, and they leave you with new friends and experiences that you never would have imagined.

In my Junior year of High School I went off to the middle of Iowa. My boarding school was teensy – people often drove past it six or seven times without realizing (while looking for it specifically), and it was an escape from the humdrum of normalcy. My older brother failed a grade and was forced there to repeat Sophomore year. Mom and I visited him for his production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (he was the Faerie King as well as someone else), and I decided that I wanted to attend as well. I wrote a letter and applied, and they gave me a sizable amount of scholarship money so that I would be able to attend.

The dorms at my tiny school were houses. There was a “dorm family” (school staff) who lived in half of the house, and students lived in the other half. Mine was on the edge of campus, and it was the same dorm that my brother lived in as a student (they converted it to a female dorm during the summer between our stays). One time while cleaning, we found an M&M CD (Vietnamese version) in the ceiling tiles. The guy it obviously belonged to (the only Vietnamese student) graduated with my brother (M&M was strictly forbidden, along with all music that was depressing in any way or had any curse words at all).

My Dorm Parents were brand spankin new along with me. They’ve risen in the five years since I graduated and he is now Headmaster. I’m not sure what all she does, but the school has changed tremendously. I would no longer be accepted as a student there if I were to be in high school now – their entire focus has narrowed.
Anyway, they were new. I’ll blame it on that. They were new and didn’t understand how to handle living with twelve girls (they had a son and two daughters, their youngest, B, was a year older than I. The others were out of the house). They didn’t quite understand, during that first year, that you really have to pick your battles.

In other words, they took away my books.

I was an honor roll student who participated in dramatic arts as well as a journalist for the school paper, yearbook editor, part of the Soccer, Equestrian, and Volleyball teams, and I volunteered whenever the opportunity came up. Yet they said that my books took away from “social opportunities” – okay, so when J set the dorm on fire by microwaving a plastic cup of apple jacks so they would “taste like apple pie” I probably shouldn’t have ignored the screams to read Harry Potter, but a girl’s got priorities – and that I needed to “broaden my horizons”.

My Dorm Mom discussed it with my actual Mom, and Mom was smart. She’s the same as I am (though she has very little time to read these days). She knew what would happen to me without books, and she said it was a bad idea. They didn’t listen, and I wasn’t allowed books that weren’t specifically for school.
No checking books out of the library.
They had the librarian checking up on me during study halls to ensure that any book I was reading had to do with school.
They had me put all of my personal books in a box which they locked in their house.

I could “earn” a book by proving that my social life was improving.

My circle of friends mainly consisted of their daughter, my friend C, her brother, and a senior, J. During this time I became closer to C’s brother, and was banned from talking to him (along with their daughter. We were all friends and only friends, but girls weren’t allowed too much interaction with boys. Nopenopenope.wtfman) for two weeks. I tried to become closer to J, but she was just the same as me when it comes to social situations. We both enjoyed climbing on top of the shelving in the coat room and reading where no one would find us. C was, frankly, a horrible influence, and B and I led extremely different lives when it came to after school activities.

So instead of expanding my social network, I collapsed in on myself a bit more. This was the only truly bad experience I had at that school. There were some other times where things happened that I didn’t agree with obviously, but it was a good school where I learned and experienced more than I would have if I had stayed in my hometown during those years. When it became evident that I wasn’t becoming more social as a result of not being allowed my pleasure reading I was punished at first. The punishments weren’t anything horrible…mucking stalls (which I love to do) and babysitting for the headmaster on weekends mostly. A few detentions full of copying lines from the encyclopedia and such. None of that helped either obviously.

This is when I started to write. I needed the escape so badly. All of these years later, writing a fictional land for myself is almost as good as disappearing into one written by someone else, but at the time it wasn’t enough.

Eventually my Dorm Mother was convinced by my Mother to give my books back. This was after I called home sobbing (we were allowed one 30 min call a week) multiple times and my Mom called the Headmaster.

And that was the rather abrupt end to that story.

Don’t take my goddamn books because you will regret it.

Books

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
Thanks purplepoet7 ;p
2. You must answer the 10 questions given to you by the nominee before you.  (That list is below the nominations.)
3. You must nominate 10 of your favorite blogs and notify them of their nomination
4. You must come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
I nominate

First off, I want to say that I’ve seen this floating around Tumblr a lot lately. So I’ll probably just copy my questions from there. ;p

1. What is the first thing you hope people notice about who you are?
Jeez I don’t know. People always put so much stock into first impressions, but I have never in my life remembered a first impression of someone for more than a few days. So whatever they notice first, I hope they take time to find out more. Unless they’re dweebs. I don’t want dweebs to waste their time on me cuz I won’t be wasting mine on them.

2. What does someone have to “get” about you in order to be considered a close friend?
I don’t think being close friends with someone is about “getting” that one thing about someone. It’s about experiencing life together and being able to stand each other.

3. If you could broadcast a hypnotic message to convince everyone in the world of one thing, what would it be?
Give Leonardo DiCaprio a goddamn Oscar.

4. Do you have a ritual or a mental image you use when you need to calm down?
I don’t know. Do I? Do you? 

5. What would your best friend say is your best quality?
I would have to call and wake him up to ask him and that would be rude. 

6. What do you think is the most important thing for a couple to share?
Probably their lives? I don’t know. Ask someone who’s had a healthy relationship last more than 10 months will you?

7. If you had unlimited funds to build your dream home, what would it have to feature?
I want a hobbit hole. Some dude built one and spent like $1000 on it and did all the work himself and he lives there with his wife and kid and it’s awesome and you don’t need lots of money.

Plus hobbit holes are awesome.

8. Could 14-year-old you have accurately predicted anything about your life today?
14 year old me was in Civil Air Patrol and certainly wanted to join the Air Force if she couldn’t make college funding work, so yeah.

9. What do you do for yourself when you feel you’ve earned some indulgence?
How do you earn indulgence? I don’t understand. I don’t like that system at all. If I want to indulge in something that is legal and all that shit then I do. Why would you restrict yourself if you don’t have to? That’s ridiculous.

10. What never fails to melt your heart?
Kitten gifs. Even though I hate cats. Also Tom Hiddleston.

In other news, I’ve decided not to force this upon anyone else or make up my own questions because I am lazy.

Question thang

My body and I haven’t been getting on very well the past few days. I’m busy and forget to eat, and then it punishes me by not feeling hungry or reminding me in any way…until I’m running and feel dizzy or something along those lines. C’mon body! Help a girl out! Make the stomach growl or something.

I think my sandwich at lunch today was the first thing since Monday morning (not too awful long, but longer than need be). Everything has just been so insane here. The only time it’s not crazy is the hour I’ve carved out for yoga. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday from 1900-2000, and Saturday from 1000-1100. There are two instructors who each teach two days, and they’re married. They’re also adorable. Tonight was the first class I’ve been in with him, and although I love her classes, I think I like his teaching style better. Both have perfected the art of the yoga instructor voice, but he moves around the room more to help. He’s more hands on, and some people probably don’t like that, but I find it nice when my pose is corrected because I’m fucking it up.

Tonight I fell multiple times and it was hilarious. There were about ten people in the class, and if anyone else fell then they were more suave about it than I. There may have been a few whispered, “fuck”s and “shit”s as I tumbled onto my ass for the umpteenth time.

Yoga is my new safe haven. It stretches you out, relaxes you, and forces muscles that you didn’t know you have work in ways you couldn’t have imagined. You breathe and your mind gets to wander and be free from everything that’s going on.

It’s wonderful.

How rude!!

The next youngest, “A” texted me and said, “call M” (the youngest sister). I called, and she was sobbing. It’s 2330 there, and her boyfriend just broke up with her. Poor girl. Her very first boyfriend. Since it was the first, it was pretty much doomed…but I really did like that one. I guess it helps that I’ve known him since they were about 6, but I really liked them together. He has ambition (which is great in a 16 year old boy), he’s athletic, and he’s just the right amount of cynical. He’s pretty gorgeous too (as is my sister). They were a wonderful couple.

I guess he didn’t give much explanation tonight and wouldn’t pick up the phone. I told her to remember that good things don’t happen between midnight and 0700, and that it was almost midnight. And that she has school in the morning. So sleep, clear your head, and call him after school if you can’t see him (he’s homeschooled and lives about a 30 min drive away). Texting is the devil, and I think that’s how the entire thing has gone down so far – which I find ridiculous.

I also told her to remember that he’s a 16 year old boy. They can be quite stupid.