Boston & Cambridge (our fair city)

Two DECADEs later....I finally got to visit the hometown of New Kids on the Block - the objects of my affection during my middle school years. Gah - that makes me feel all kinds of old. Here's a run-down of our travels.

Last Thursday around 7am, we loaded up the Civic (which averaged about 40 mpg all the way to Boston, TYVM) and headed towards Boston/Cambridge, Massachusetts. We started planning this trip back in May when we decided to go see The Swell Season again. I'd always wanted to go to Boston and this sounded like a great excuse, and a perfect time of year.

We anticipated a 12-hour drive, but with bathroom breaks and traffic in on the George Washington Bridge in NYC and then in Connecticut (for noreasonwhatsoever), it ended up taking about 14 hours to get there. We arrived at our wonderful hotel in Cambridge, The Kendall, around 9pm. On our drive through Cambridge, we noticed tons of college students everywhere. Our hotel was in MIT's backyard, but I wasn't expecting such a lively night-life scene for some reason. It seemed cool - we decided it was like a bigger Chapel Hill but with more history. We checked in and crashed for the night. Long day in the car. Zzzzs came easy.

Friday was the day of The Swell Season show and we weren't planning on wearing ourselves out sight-seeing to the point that we'd be dragging come show time. We opted to check out MIT and Harvard since they are both in Cambridge and we wouldn't have to head in to busy Boston just yet. We went to MIT first since it was right behind our hotel. I was impressed - what a great campus. It had this cozy feel to it and you could feel brainwaves of brilliance smacking you in the face every time someone walked past. For some reason, I expected to see adults everywhere - like 30-somethings as if you can only be smart when you're older - so it was odd to see real live 18-21 year olds running around being all smart and nerdy.

We went to the "dome building" (aka: the Maclaurin Buildings), the Student Center, the chapel, and just meandered around trying not look like the tourists that we were. Classes were obviously in session and we found ourselves getting caught up in the current of students rushing to and from class.  It's hard to tour a school - I mean, what's there to see besides the landmarks? - and not every school has a landmark. It was fun, though, and I felt like writing (fake) equations everywhere (as if I know any real equations!). My favorite buildings were the MIT Chapel and the Stata Center (even though a dump truck nearly ran over me at the Stata Center).

We hit the student store for some poser MIT gear and had lunch before we headed to Hahhhhvahd. We took our car to Harvard and parked in a parking deck which thought* had $2.00 parking. *Turns out it cost $14 to park for about 2 hours. Sweet! We parked and start walking. The streets aren't nice little square blocks like in NYC and downtown Raleigh (ha) so we used the GPS on our iPhones to find our way to the campus and then used this ancient device called a "paper map" that was in our hotel room to wind our way around campus, bumping into interesting things here and there. I wanted to find the official sign that said "Harvard University" or something to photograph to show where we were, but we had no way of knowing where that was (if one existed) and again, it ain't easy to tour a school. We walked through some fancy gates and were in the middle of one of 2 quads. It felt like Salem. Cozy and historic and smaller than I'd imagined. There was a group of acapella singers performing at the foot of the steps to the Widener Library so we climbed the steps and listened for a little bit. We went to Memorial Chapel as well, but couldn't go in since a service was in progress. From Harvard's Online virtual tour - looks like we missed seeing a gorgeous church. It's easy to forget what a famous school you're standing in the middle of when you're there - it wasn't intimidating in the least and that surprised me because I get intimidated in front of a 5 year old, nevermind the nation's brightest students.

Another surprise, was how nice everyone seemed in Boston and Cambridge. I sensed the students at MIT and Harvard were polite and nice (even though they weren't talking to us). Both schools were a pleasure to tour and were places I would've been right at home in had I gone to either school. It could have been a combination of the great weather, students throwing frisbees, riding bikes, laying in the grass, and singing that made it seem so pleasant and picturesque, but I think it's the feel of the city as a whole. Boston holds a special place in American history and you can tell people are proud and happy to live there.

Speaking of history, our last touristy stop on Friday was the Bunker Hill Monument (a stop on the Freedom Trail).  Saturday, we went in to Boston to walk the rest Freedom Trail (most of it) and go to the Aquarium. We took the "T" into the city and got out at Boston Common. We strolled around there and in the Boston Public Gardens for a bit. There was some sort of weed-worshipping concert event going on there so it was sort of annoying to hear from a distance. We decided to get started on the Freedom Trail which officially begins at Boston Common. The trail is cool - it's marked by a double-row of bricks laid into the sidewalks and streets all throughout the city so you really don't need a map as long as you follow the bricks. We did just that, opting to give ourselves a tour rather than paying to follow a guide around in a big group. NO THANKS. We went to the Massachusetts State House, Park Street Church, Old South Meeting House, and the Old North Church to name a few.  I was never into history when it was forced on me in high school and college, so I had to ask Seth about the significance of some of these places.  It's too bad I didn't care for this stuff when I was a teenager - wish my current self could've told my young self to "pay attention! you'll care about this someday!"

The New England Aquarium = a big ole thumbs down, $40 waste of time and money! I say that only because the one at Fort Fisher is practically identical if not better, was recently renovated, and FREE! It was feeding time for the penguins when we got there, and that was pretty much the highlight of our visit.  The New England Aquarium was dirty, old, dark, and overrun with people and obnoxious kids. We probably should've gone on Friday rather than Saturday. Oopsy. We checked the time when we left - we were in there 30 minutes. So my recommendation is if you ever find yourself in Boston - don't go to the Aquarium unless you're bored out of your skull. It's not worth the entry fee IMO.

Walking the Freedom Trail took up most of our day, but it was fun to walk the city and see these landmarks of American History. We took a couple of trains back to our hotel in Cambridge and rested. Neither of us were starved for dinner, so later on in the evening we decided to head down the street to The Cheesecake Factory to have dessert for dinner. It was delish - Dulce de Leche cheesecake is my fave there. We don't usually go out to some crazy-fancy restaurant when we travel to new cities. We probably should and would if we had more time in these places, but for the most part, it doesn't seem worth it usually.

Sunday, we woke up at 6am to head back to Raleigh. Waking up wasn't so fun - I got out of bed and was immediately dizzy or something. I felt like I was leaning to my right like in those old V-8 commercials. It was terrible but I managed to get a shower and pack the rest of my stuff. We put everything in the car, but I was feeling worse and we went to the hotel lobby to sit down. After a little while, we had to go back up to our room (we hadn't checked out yet) because I needed to lay down. I downed some Pepto to settle my tummy, and after about an hour or so I felt ready to hit the road.  After all my anxiety from not feeling well, I really had to pee about an hour into the drive. We were still in Massachusetts and took an exit we thought* said "service station" off the Mass Turnpike. It was SO confusing and we didn't see this supposed service station. I ended up going into a CVS and they let me use their employee bathroom which was behind a combination-locked door. ha.

Our next necessary stop was to get gas in Connecticut.  As we're exiting, we see people pulled off on the side of the road outside their cars like they are waiting for something. Then this stream of big rig trucks (most without their cargo box) come rolling down the hill (from a FedEx proccessing center). They starting honking their obnoxiously loud horns and we're looking around like we just drove through wet cement and they're trying to get us to MOOOOVE! We couldn't figure out what the deal was. However, we ignored it, got gas and tried to get back on the interstate. No go. Police had blocked the entrance ramp for whatever these trucks were doing. Using the trusty GPS we navigate through the town to another entrance ramp - which we find ALSO blocked. Travellers are pulled over and getting out like WTF? and this nice lady beside us goes to ask the policeman what's going on and when can we get back on the interstate. By the time she gets back, I had googled "truck convoy connecticut" and determined that this was an annual Make-A-Wish event in which 400 (that's not a typo) trucks convoy up and haul it down the highway. GRR! It was highly annoying, but one of those things you felt like the devil complaining about (it being for MAW and all). Still, I thought it highly irresponsible that they had an event that required them to close off all entrance ramps to this major interstate. Had we not had an iPhone on which to google, we would've never known what the deal was. After about 20 mins, our Policeman took off down the ramp for some reason and everyone made a mad dash to the ramp to get on the highway. I took video of part of the convoy (which I'll post later).

We FINALLY made it home around 9pm or so and went to get Three at my parents house. They were nice

enough to dogsit for us and I think she had a good time. I felt like she was giving me the cold shoulder when we got there, but she's back to being loving and sweet and I can't ask for much more. Great trip, would gladly go again, would happily live there, too!


First, there's this:

Now I'm going to sit back and wait for the barrage of "I TOLD YOU SOs"....


The Swell Season - Concert Review #2

For those of you loyal readers, you may remember a concert review for The Swell Season I posted back in May.  We made good on our plans to try to see them a second time and went to Boston this past weekend for a show at Boston University's Agganis Arena. I'm breaking up the posts on our trip to share about the concert and sightseeing separately. Herein lies a review of the show (our reason for going to Boston!).

Our intent in going to a second show was to make up for the over-crowded, standing room only, too hot, nasty bar, couldn't-see-the-band show we went to in Richmond. I wanted to go to a venue with seats where you could see over! the head! of the person! in front of you! We looked at the tour schedule and it was a toss up between Boston and Chicago. We chose Boston because it was a shorter drive and the show was on a Friday making it easier to take time off from work.

We arrived in Boston on Thursday night and slept in as best we could on Friday morning so as not to be too tired for the show that night. We spent the day touring MIT and Harvard on the Cambridge side of the Charles River. We went to the show well-rested, not overtired, and ready to actually ENJOY the music.

We have great parking right under the arena, find our seats with no problem, the people around us seem to be fine, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of our seats was on the END OF A ROW! Woohoo! I love having an end seat! So we're waiting and waiting and waiting and there are 2 opening acts - both good, second better than the first. Then we're waiting and waiting for The Swell Season to come on when security seats 2 girls behind us. I quickly realized that one of the girls was DRUUUUUUUUUUUUUNK with a capital D. This came to my attention when I overheard her friend pointing out that "remember, the police already took your beer when we tried to come in..." and my heart just sank. I thought - of all these seats, of all the shows, of all the people - WHY do these girls have to sit behind US? We just drove 14 hours to get to this show, and all was well until YOU sat down. I take a deep breath and just HOPE she chills out.

I can hear her back there asking the ladies beside her if they are drinking. She explains to them if they are, then could they please go buy her a beer - they obviously said NO. I hear her back there chomping on popcorn obnoxiously, she drops her lipstick, spills something, etc. But...for the moment they are quiet. Then the band comes out and they let out ridiculous, redneck-style, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOs and start giggling. Seth turns around and very politely asks them if they could please keep it down. Cheers and claps are fine, but they were going overboard and Seth was trying to ask for quiet up front before we got too far into the show. So he asks, turns back around, 2 seconds later, they tap on his shoulder...he turns around, they go "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" right in his face. I IMMEDIATELY jump out of my seat, haul ass up the stairs, and go directly to the first security guard and tell him what just happened. He tells me he'll get "his team" on it. They all know exactly who I'm referring to. HA.

Meanwhile, the drunk girl's friend appears at the top of the stairs and puts on her most innocent face and voice. She's talking to me like "what's wrong? why are you upset?" and says "Where's your sense of fun?" I provide her with some choice words and basically just let her have it. I tell her I didn't pay to come to this show to have obnoxious drunk girls sit behind me and ruin it - not to mention the ladies beside them who I witnessed the drunk girl leaning ALL OVER trying to ask to buy her beer. This crowd is mostly laid back, older couples (a lot are older than we are) who are there to enjoy music sitting in a chair and chilling. Not the tailgating drunk crowd she seemed to be looking for. This wasn't a football game. So she continues her Miss Innocent routine and at this point, Seth has come up trying to figure out why I ran off. We tell this girl she should just stop talking - that she's about to get kicked out. The Security team shows up, they go down, pull these girls from their seats with their belongings and I hear them telling them "We've already talked with you once tonight" and they kick them out! YESSSSSSSSS! I've never felt so vindicated :)

We head back to our seats and the ladies who were so unfortunate as to have them sitting beside them, said "Thank you!" I was shaking with anger and I shed a few tears. I was just PISSED that I had come all this way to see this band a second time and these stupid girls almost ruined the show. I wasn't about to let them get away with it and had them booted before the first song was even over. We got back to our seats during "Falling Slowly" which I was surprised they played as their second song. I calmed down after a while and enjoyed the show - from a nice chair and with no one standing in front of me!

They played new songs, Glen invited a "real life busker" on stage who was also great, and it was an all-around great performance. I got a cool poster before we left. We got back to our hotel around midnight. I've got an itch to watch "Once" again - love, love, love that movie and Glen and Marketa.


Punctuate much?

Props to Emporia, Virginia for this fabulous display of the inappropriate use of an apostrophe.


"i love myself." - Diggle

I've been to my psychologist for 5 sessions as of today, and I realized I've not written about how things are going since session #1. Actually, I've got one post in my drafts that I decided not to post because I went off on a tangent about girls who copy other girls and how ANNOYED it makes me. It seemed to be a tangent... until today.

Today's session ended up going in the direction of my tendency to absolutely detest people who copy me, or things I do, or anything really. I don't mean copy as in "I was inspired by you and decided to go my own way with your idea," I mean copy as in straight up you-did-the-exact-same-thing-I-did-grrrrr.  I sound as if I am some queen of cool ideas - not the case - which is why it's so damn annoying when someone carbon-copies me.  Being copied makes me feel like I'm being put into a competition (against myself, essentially) against my will and I. can. not. stand. that.  There aren't many times I feel like I do something I can be proud of, or want to show off to someone else, so when those times come around, it's completely deflating and maddening when someone else takes the easy road and does the same thing. I just want to grab them and shake them!

Today, we talked about this tendency, and how my annoyance turns into almost a hatred. That sounds strong, but at the moment I realize something deeply personal is being taken from me in the form of a copy, it feels like raw hate. It's like a defense mechanism or something...like you're taking my clothes right off my back and I'm going to claw your eyes out to get them back. I enjoy seeing others' creativity, and like to take inspiration from them, but I certainly don't set out to copy verbatim (so to speak) what someone else does whether it be with their life, their home, their clothes, whatever. How boring for the person who is being copied!  Must be what celebrity trend-setters feel like from time to time. Again, I'm no where NEAR that sort of trend-settyness, but for me, it can take ONE single, solitary person to strip "myself" from me by stealing my idea(s). I treasure any trace of uniqueness I may have, and I hope others treasure that in their selves as well. It makes me mad to see someone cop out and use someone else's "self" as their own.

ANYWAY. My therapist made note of a common thread in all the stories I've shared with her so far. I've apparently got some sort of internal war with myself which leaves me constantly feeling like I'm losing the battle. Am a loser. She says if I feel at war with myself as well as with others, to have or do everything everyone else has, then I'm constantly going to disappoint myself and feel as if I have lost and that they are better than me for having won. She's SO RIGHT. And I know this. I know I don't focus on myself at times that are most critical which is probably why I second-guess myself so often, and why I feel like whatever choice I make is probably not the right one and I will regret it later. It's a vicious cycle in which it sucks to be in the middle. Today's session was a bit of an AH-HA moment, but certainly not the fix-all, end-all of my issues.

Last week, she had me go home, get on my elliptical and do an assessment of how I was feeling physically while I was on it. She wanted me to focus on me the entire time I was on the machine. I admitted to her on Thursday that I didn't see the point, that I didn't know what I was looking for, but that I did it anyway and gave her a report. She told me I did great and said that clearly, when I'm on that thing I'm not feeling good and that my mind is anywhere BUT on myself. It's on the clock, it's on the TV show I'm going to watch when I get off this thing, it's on tomorrow. She helped me realize I'm not focusing on me and she asked me what types of physical things I like to do that feel good to my body (minds out of gutters, people!). I told her I really couldn't think of anything at the moment until I remembered - PILATES! I described to her how I had worked with an instructor almost a year ago and how those sessions were...amazing. I found it SO interesting to do Pilates movements and breathing and how very FOCUSED on myself I had to be in order to successfully do the movements, stretches and breathing. I had to quit b/c it was $60 freaking dollars a session! She mentions trying Yoga. Again, I have a bit of an ah-ha moment. Perhaps I should be trying exercise in which I focus all my attention on ME and which feels good to mah bod-ee! She told me not to be too quick to recruit Yoga as my next life-changing experience, but to be open to the idea and look into it.

Maybe I'm not the running, sweating, iron-pumping type of girl I thought I should be in order to lose weight and feel better. Maybe what's best for me are the calm, self-focusing, and challenging activities which will help me get in touch with me, because I am, afterall, the most important person in my world.


Where were YOU?

For a few months during my time at the legislature, I worked from 10am-7pm to give our division more coverage.  On September 11, 2001, I was getting ready for work in my cozy duplex apartment off Wade Avenue in Raleigh.  Since I lived alone, my morning routine was to get up and turn the radio on to keep me company as I got ready for work. I usually listened to G105 since I knew they'd make me laugh.

That morning, as I turned off the shower and was drying off, I realized that G105 wasn't broadcasting laughs or even more than one voice.  All I could hear was Bob sounding more serious than usual. The stereo was in the living room so I went in for a closer listen. I thought I'd walk into some sort of "breaking news" report regarding the weather, or a bad wreck, or something they were reporting on and letting listeners know they'd keep up updated throughout the day. I can't remember any of Bob's exact words, but I remember being alarmed and my first instinct was to think "what a disgusting and inappropriate joke." But...he kept talking about the World Trade Center, and he kept being serious and no one was breaking in saying "hahaha, we're just kidding."  I even wondered if for some strange reason he was reading an excerpt from a new book. I had many thoughts in just a matter of seconds, but it was becoming clear, this was real.

I was alone, and couldn't think of what to do next. I remember going for the phone, then passed it up for the remote and turned on the TV. That's when I was able to confirm that Bob really wasn't joking. I remember the first image I saw of the first tower with smoke billowing from its upper floors.  At the time, it was the only building to have been hit. I sat down on my futon with my wet hair wrapped in a towel and just sat there...confused. They showed New Yorkers staring toward lower Manhattan with fear, confusion, and disbelief in their eyes. They were running, walking, biking - whatever would get them the hell out of there, they were doing it. Then they broke in with news of the Pentagon having been hit and they cut to a shot from somewhere around DC, and all you could see was smoke billowing up over some trees with the caption at the bottom indicating  that the Pentagon had been hit. It was at this point in the broadcast, that the anchor indicated that the United States was clearly under a terrorist attack.

WHAT?! Now I was really scared. I remember having this overwhelming feeling that I needed to hide underneath something and that any moment a huge bomb was going to be dropped on top of Raleigh. Then I panicked because I was alone, and then I called Seth. Seth worked different hours than I did, and since no one watches TV while at work, I didn't know if he knew yet. But when he picked up, he clearly knew and said most people in the office were gathered around a TV near the receptionists' desks. Seth and I had only been dating a few weeks at this point, but all I wanted to do was get to work as quickly as possible and stay with him all day.

I remember what I was wearing. I wore a black skirt with tiny white pin stripes running diagonally across it from The Limited, a black sleeveless sweater from Banana Republic, and my black beaded flip-flops from Target. I wore my glasses and I scrunched my hair and wore it curly. I can only assume I decided to go with that hair because it was the quickest style I could make and I was anxious to get out of the house and near someone I loved. When I got to work, I went straight to Seth's floor rather than mine. We worked in the same division, but on separate floors. Most people were still at the TV and I remember walking over to Seth and standing as near him as I could without crossing the line so as not to be inappropriate. We watched the TV for a while and at this point, the 2nd tower had been hit. Then we went to Seth's office. I remember trying to go to my own office, but it was just weird. No one was really working. No one could put this out of their minds. The whole day, as far as work goes, was a wash.

Seth and I went back to my apartment to watch the news during our lunch hour.  I think we stopped and got Subway on the way there. I didn't want to be by myself for a minute. It was strange. Even after we heard of Flight 93's crash and it seemed the worst of it was over, I just kept wondering "Are we next?" The rest of that day is a blur, but I have such clear memories of that morning and I think I always will. We went to my parent's house that night and kept the news on constantly. I can remember trying to take a break from it to watch something else, but it didn't feel right. It felt like laughing right after a funeral - just not right.

Today, I'm remembering those events from 7 years ago, and I'm thinking about all those families who lost husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, parents or grandparents, and I'm thinking about those who lost their lives.  I'm thinking of New York and DC and Pennsylvania. I hope everyone just thinks today.



A&E is my new BFF

Well, yes, I've been watching TV again. And...falling in love with pure silliness, folks!  If you've not yet checked out the shows on A&E, I highly recommend you do so ASAP. If you're anything like most normal human-beings and enjoy laughing at the stupidity, accidental hilarity, and plain ole foolishness of other humans, then A&E is for you.

In addition to being addicted to The First 48, I can predict that I will soon be able to add Speeders and The Principals Office to that list (sadly, I've had to removed The Two Coreys until Haim can get his junk together and the show can come back on the air). Maybe I was blind when I was in high school, but sweet fancy moses! kids are about as stupid as they come. They are so full of themselves, but it's fun to watch and reminisce about all those times in high school when we used wallow in the drama of kids getting in trouble. I haven't seen an episode of Speeders yet, but the TiVo is at home faithfully recording episodes in my absence.

I also laughed out loud while home alone last night at The Smoking Gun Presents: World Dumbest Partiers. heheheheeee...still laughing at the first dood in that clip who says he's with the CIA. There just aren't words for some of these people. This is really stuff that no one could ever come up with.

As far as The First 48, I'm the first to admit I've gotten a bit obsessed. The TiVo is not to keep more than 5 episodes at a time and it always seems we've got 5 to watch so usually I watch them marathon-style. I was like this with Forensic Files when I first discovered it. What is it with me a murder shows.  I don't even distinguish anymore...I just say to Seth, "I'm going to watch sum murda."  He's like IMAGINE THAT, WAY TO EXPAND YOUR MIND, HONEY, AND REBUILD YOUR FAITH IN HUMANITY.

Yeah, not so much.

As with Deadliest Catch, I'm starting to develop "favorite" detectives. Am loving Sgt. Caroline Mason and Lt. Joe Schillaci. Miami and Memphis seem to get most of the action. Wow. I should get a life. Really.


Flickr Fun

I found this activity over at Still Life's blog. Very cool - I had not heard of it, but tried it this morning in an attempt to put off actually starting any of the "things to do" piled up on my desk. Here's my result:

Here's how this fun little activity works:

Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr search. Using only the first page of returned images, choose your favorite and copy-&-paste each of the URL’s into the mosaic maker (3 columns, 4 rows).

The questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you attend?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10.What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name. (note: I don't have a Flickr account, so I just typed in the name I'd probably use if I did)


Not all blogs are as happy as they seem

Today, it occurred to me that I've been holding back from posting as often as I actually consider posting.  I write on this here blog for myself because I really have no idea who's out there reading my blabberings so I really don't try to cater to an audience of whose members I know not. In any case, I stop myself from posting at times because it seems that generally I would be posting negative thoughts.

My thought process tends to be as follows: grrr - I should write - nah, people will find it negative and think I'm not fun to read - oh, wait, I don't know who reads this, why should I care? - well, just in case, I'll skip it.  Right now, I have exactly 2 drafts that I have yet to post, one of which I wrote the day after my last session with my therapist. It's been in the drafts for over a week and I'm not sure it'll make it to primetime on the big screen. (Side note: I have another appointment tomorrow and I'm going in the late afternoon so we'll see which time I prefer and which feels better. Mornings have their perks, but then again, leaving work early is a hell of a perk!)

It also occurred to me that many bloggers out there are writing for fairly small audiences made up mostly of family and friends as a fun way to keep people "in the know" without having to compose an email and remember to send it to specific people, or having to make nintytrazillion phone calls which...is, like, soooooo 90s, heh. These blogs tend to be cheery and mostly "hey! look what I'm up to, ain't it great?!" I get that - mine mostly started out as that - until I realized I hardly ever posted and would leave huge gaps of time between posts. If I waited until something great or happy or spectacular happened to me then I'd never post because life just isn't that swell on a daily basis. I'm now trying to post more about my real life as opposed to just highlighting the....well, highs....and pretending the lows don't exist.  STILL, I've not been posting as much as I *think* about posting and I wonder if, in fact, my blog might be more interesting if I posted as the real me rather than the edited me.

Writing is much like exercise for me as far as this (we)blog goes. I want INSTANT results (or readers in this case) and because it take just an ounce of work to get there - I give up quickly - because FAILING is what I'm best at. It seems the only thing I can do is NOT do something. I've yet to lose weight by working at it (hi, my Mom weights 35 pounds LESS than I do - yeah, HOW'D I get here?), I've yet to make friends because it requires work and discomfort and awkwardness and bleeeeeeeeeeeh, and I've yet to freaking decide already what it is that I want to do with my life. Hello? I'm 30. What's the deal? I should know this by now - or at least I thought that was how life would work after college. News flash - NO. SUCH. LUCK. I still have no clear direction or passion in life and no real sign of it coming anytime soon. If money and paying the bills didn't matter then it'd be different, but they do, and I can't just quit and stay home and figure it out.

Anyway - tangent! Things like blogs and Facebook pages and all that new "check out my life" stuff that's emerged recently that helps us all stay in touch and reconnect, is like going back to high school all over again. As much as I love it, its mostly just another way to feel crappy (or great) about yourself.  For the most part, there are people I look at and don't feel compelled to compare myself to them or their current lives, but I suppose I'm a product of the environments in which I grew up in. Kids I went to high school and middle school with had parents making gobs of money, they got new cars at 16, they got voted onto homecoming court and every other court imaginable, and they were loved by all (or so everyone thought). I still can't help but play the game we all played in high school. If you think adults are over the high school drama crap - just look at American politics - could it be anymore of a popularity contest? Unfortunately, voters have no clue WHAT they are voting for, they just get sucked into the WHO for the most part.

These internet worlds allow me see who is successful in their careers, who has how many umpteen babies, and who has traveled the world, and while that's all swell and fabulous, I find myself wondering - but are they HAPPY? I wonder what impression my Facebook page gives off? Do people think I'm happy? Successful? Enjoying life? It's all just a facade. Not for me personally, but for everyone. The truth is, no one can tell from your Facebook page or your blog what is truly going on in your life - unless you share it. So here I am, sharing the fact that I'm 30 and not exactly happy or successful. I shouldn't be afraid to write that for fear of exposing myself - it's MY LIFE. Hiding it through happy stories on my blog doesn't make it any easier to deal with - in fact it makes it harder.

I certainly don't want to be the author of the blog of gloom, but hopefully, (with a little help from a highly-trained medical mental health professional), I'll begin to see the light in my life and find a bit of direction and happiness. There's much more to my personal story that really only my husband and family know about. Just last week in a conversation with my mom, I cried and told her I just needed a friend- a girl-friend - but those don't come easily, and I'm still on the hunt for a friend I can trust. But I do take comfort in knowing that if I'm trying to hide my "real life" by posting happy camper-esque posts on my blog, then probabaly a lot more people out there are doing the same thing. I should be allowed to have a bad day or dark times - that shouldn't mean I have to worry that my readers will run for the hills in search of a perpetually happy blog. If that's all you're looking for - then perhaps you ain't in the right place.