In Which I Confess to That Time I Was An Idiot For Years…

Blog Challenge Day 12: Regrets

Four years ago, I was leaving a lecture hall and saw this boy and in an instant, I found myself believing in Soul Mates and Love-at-First-Sight and Forevers. I drove home from class and found myself pleading with whatever higher power there was, “please…please let him like me back.” And then? And then I did nothing.

Oh, I spent the rest of the semester subtly (or not so subtly) checking him out. Gushing about how incredibly good looking he was to all of my friends. Looking for him all over campus…but as for taking some sort of proactive stance in my life and actually asking him out? Nope. Not this girl. To be fair, I did introduce myself and surreptitiously discovered we had mutual friends then found him on Facebook and friended him over that summer.(Not creepy, Laura. Not creepy at all.)

But then it took a couple of parties, an exchange of Facebook messages, an unfortunate number of Awkward-Laura-Moments and three years for me to work up the courage to ask him to coffee (more like I reached the end of my rope with this crazy fangirl-like infatuation).

I was always aware that he wasn’t interested in me- not romantically anyway- but I was so tightly ensconced in the grip of that crush, I couldn’t get over him without some sort of closure. Luckily, this guy was actually a pretty decent fellow and he agreed to meet up. We talked for about an hour, swapping stories about studying abroad and music recommendations and then we parted and by the end of that day — I was pretty effectively over him. Mostly because I was able to finally accept that he was not interested in me and I deserved a guy who would pursue me, who thought I was amazing and funny and beautiful. 

My one regret through that entire experience? All of the heartache and questions I could have saved myself (and my best friends) if I had simply approached him and asked him to coffee that first semester I noticed him. I’m certainly glad that I finally did something about it, and I can still pull some valuable life lessons from the entire experience but if I could go back, I would have walked right up to him that first (okay, maybe the second) day of class and said, “Hi, my name is Laura. Wanna go grab coffee sometime?”

Hindsight, man. It’ll get you every time.

“My father said that love at first sight should send you running, if you know what’s good for you. It’s your dark pieces having instant recognition with their dark pieces, he says. You’re an idiot if you think it means you’ve met your soul mate. So I was an idiot.”

Deb Caletti (Stay)

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15 Quotes To Make You Think

I love quotes. I collect them the way some people collect stamps, or coins, or antique watches. I have old journals filled with quotes rather than what I did with my days.

Today’s blog challenge is to list your favorite quotes and that’s really difficult for me, so I’m going to give you my top 15: the ones that make me think, the ones that make me dream, the ones which comfort me, the ones which depress me. Here goes.

Virginia

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swaps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved by have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists…it is real…it is possible…it is yours.”
-Ayn Rand

 

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture.
Just get people to stop reading them.”
— Ray Bradbury

 

“What if evil doesn’t really exist?
What if evil is something dreamed up by man
and there is nothing to struggle against except our own limitations?
The constant battle between our will, our desires, and our choices?”
-Libba Bray

 

“But you can’t make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can’t last.”
— Ray Bradbury

 

“It occurs to me it is not so much the aim of the devil to lure me with evil as it is to preoccupy me with the meaningless. ”
-Donald  Miller

Ephesus

“Words have value, but only in terms of their meaning. Meaning is constantly seeking to express what cannot be said in words and thus passed on…So we look at things, but it is only an outward form and color and what can be heard is just the name and sound. How sad that this generation imagines that the form, color, name and sound are enough to capture the essence of something! The form, color, name and sound are in no way sufficient to capture or convey the truth.”
– Chuang Tzu

 

“It isn’t sufficient just to want – you’ve got to ask yourself what you are going to do to get the things you want.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

“Love can come when you’re already who you are, when you’re filled with you. Not when you look to someone else to fill the empty space.”
— Deb Caletti

 

“I craved total freedom and I envied boys because I thought the could have it. But there was a way in which, as a girl, I could act free but never quite get there in my head. However many expectations I escaped and constraints I threw off, there would always be that nagging caution at the back of my head that said I’d better lock the door.”
-Elisabeth Eaves

 

“Do you remember what Darwin says about music? He claims that the power of producing and appreciating it existed among the human race long before the power of speech was arrived at. Perhaps that is why we are so subtly influenced by it. There are vague memories in our souls of those misty centuries when the world was in its childhood.”
— Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Greece, Music, Gate

“It starts so young, and I’m angry about that. The garbage we’re taught. About love, about what’s “romantic.” Look at so many of the so-called romantic figures in books and movies. Do we ever stop and think how many of them would cause serious and drastic unhappiness after The End? Why are sick and dangerous personality types so often shown a passionate and tragic and something to be longed for when those are the very ones you should run for your life from? Think about it. Heathcliff. Romeo. Don Juan. Jay Gatsby. Rochester. Mr. Darcy. From the rigid control freak in The Sound of Music to all the bad boys some woman goes running to the airport to catch in the last minute of every romantic comedy. She should let him leave. Your time is so valuable, and look at these guys–depressive and moody and violent and immature and self-centered. And what about the big daddy of them all, Prince Charming? What was his secret life? We don’t know anything about him, other then he looks good and comes to the rescue.”
— Deb Caletti

 

“Most of the Bible is a history told by people living in lands occupied by conquering superpowers. It is a book written from the underside of power. It’s an oppression narrative. The majority of the Bible was written by a minority people living under the rule and reign of massive, mighty empires, from the Egyptian Empire to the Babylonian Empire to the Persian Empire to the Assyrian Empire to the Roman Empire.

This can make the Bible a very difficult book to understand if you are reading it as a citizen of the the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. Without careful study and reflection, and humility, it may even be possible to miss central themes of the Scriptures.”
― Rob Bell

 

“The most often repeated commandment in the Bible is ‘Do not fear.’ It’s in there over two hundred times. That means a couple of things, if you think about it. It means we are going to be afraid, and it means we shouldn’t let fear boss us around. Before I realized we were supposed to fight fear, I thought of fear as a subtle suggestion in our subconscious designed to keep us from getting humiliated. And I guess it serves that purpose. But fear isn’t only a guide to keep us safe; it’s also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.”
— Donald Miller

 

“All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.”
— Mitch Albom

 

“We all get lost once in a while, sometimes by choice, sometimes due to forces beyond our control. When we learn what it is our soul needs to learn, the path presents itself. Sometimes we see the way out but wander further and deeper despite ourselves; the fear, the anger or the sadness preventing us returning. Sometimes we prefer to be lost and wandering, sometimes it’s easier. Sometimes we find our own way out. But regardless, always, we are found.”
— Cecelia Ahern

Floating

The Dreaded “Selfie”

Self Portrait 2

Alright everyone, since I’m still getting the hang of this blogging regularly business, I’m taking on a blog challenge. Starting with DAY 1: A self portrait and…

5 Seemingly Random Facts About Myself

1) I’m left handed.

This is not actually all that unusual, but sometimes I get weird comments about it. I’m a server and once, when taking a tables order, the gentleman asked me

“Why are you writing like that?”

“Like what?”

“With your left hand, why are you doing that?”

“…..Because I’m left handed?”

Not a great story, but apparently it created some cause for concern for said gentleman? Maybe he’s of the antiquated notion that the left-hand is the devil’s hand and I’m cursed. Who knows. He left me a decent enough tip.

2) I have the brattiest, most adorable dog ever.

Sammy, pictured below, is a huge brat. This is what happens when you get a puppy for a 16 year old girl who can’t even take care of herself, let alone focus on training a fluffy creature with huge, puppy-dog eyes. I mean, he’s potty-trained but he’s also spoiled rotten. We’re working on it now. We might even be making some progress.

Sammy, 1

3) I’ve traveled to 7-ish Countries.

The UK, France, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey and Canada. I have an intense case of Wanderlust though, so I’m hoping to expand this list someday soon.

Athens, Greece May 2011

Athens, Greece May 2011

4) I’ve Never Had A Boyfriend.

This seems to bother (some of) my friends more than it really bothers me. When I was in high school, I was very dependent on other people- easily influenced by my mother, my friends and the media (like most teenagers, really). I feel really lucky, in fact, that the friends I made were such positive forces in my life. Over the last four years, I’ve forced myself out of my comfort zone (traveling abroad, interning in DC, moving out) and I’ve worked really hard to be a more independent individual and to be a more complete person- one with my own thoughts and opinions. Occasionally, I feel like I’ve missed something by never seriously pursuing a relationship with anyone and sometimes I feel a bit lonely but for the most part: I’m good being alone.

I know myself, and I believe that if I had had a boyfriend in high school or early college, I would have let myself be far too influenced by him. I wouldn’t have gone to France because I didn’t want to be away from him for 4 months, or gone to DC because that’s just too far away. I’m a better person for my single life and I know that, when I find the right guy, I’ll have a more balanced relationship as a result.

“A lady I will be, but a man’s accessory, his handbag, no thank you. I will not be someone’s ornament. I will not just be someone’s honey, baby, sweetheart.”
Deb Caletti (Honey, Baby, Sweetheart)

5) I Can Never Pick A Favorite Color

Sometimes it changes by the hour, by the day, by the season. Every fall I rediscover my love of that deep scarlet color. In the Spring, I love color of newborn leaves as sunlight spills through the branches. Summertime, that cerulean blue, coupled with the crisp smell of chlorine, wins out over everything. But even the stark white of winter has it’s own appeal. My bedroom has been painted blue, yellow, white, green…at the end of the day, I love vivacity. Any color that refreshes and challenges your mood, that’s the one that I love.

Trees in Spring

 

The Next Chapter

“You have ordinary moments and ordinary moments and more ordinary moments, and then, suddenly, there is something monumental right there. You have past and future colliding in the present, your own personal Big Bang, and nothing will ever be the same.” 

— Deb Caletti (Stay)

Four months ago, I visited my best friend, M, in Vermont. We drove all over the state antiquing, hiking, and reminisced about high school and our camping trip to Prince Edward Island and these amazing cupcakes we got in DC two years ago. We drove to Boston and made a spontaneous trip to Cape Cod and slept in the car. We vegged out on Portuguese Sweetbread and Seafood and chilled on the beach and we made plans for our next big trip, we dreamed about the men we would marry, the careers paths we would blaze. 

Three months ago, I got a call from M that she had met a boy and sure, it was long-distance but she really thought it was the real deal.

Yesterday, I skyped M and we talked about her wedding next June. And just like that, all of her grandiose plans for the future have changed. She’ll never move to a big city, all on her own, and make it hers. Our next trip will be less spontaneous, a little less whimsical and instead of dreaming of what her future husband will look like, she’ll be imagining what their children will look like…and these aren’t bad things. I realize that, but I’m mourning- a bit- for those plans we had and those conversations we’ll never revisit. 

 

Image

I can’t convey how happy I am for her. This future husband of hers- he’s truly a great guy and I know he’ll take care of her and treat her the way she deserves and what more could you want for your best friend? But growing up has never felt so real. Graduating college…that was anticipated, planned, expected. Meeting your husband and planning a wedding only three months later? That’s Growing Up because what inevitably comes next? A mortgage, a career, kids?

The future we always dreamed about, it’s finally really happening for her and it’s so sudden, such a swift shift of direction it took my breath away. I’ve never felt so keenly that I’m leaving my childhood behind- that we all are. And it’s never felt so scary.