Thursday, June 30, 2011

*Foot Stompin Friends*

Someone very wise once said that laughter is the best form of medicine. Surely that's true, because I laughed until I couldn't stop myself three times tonight and I feel as though happiness is literally coursing through my veins! I laugh everyday, but not to the point of having no way to stop myself….uncontrollable laughter is one of my very favorite feelings.

Having serious and intimate talks definitely connects me to people but not nearly as much as experiencing uncontrollable laughter with someone. Even laughing a little bit together is much more of a connection than four months of strait deep, personal talks! I have no idea why that is, but it's definitely the case in my life. I can let someone go that is sooo super serious a lot easier than someone that just makes me laugh. I am drawn to funny people and when I find someone who is truly hilarious, I can never let them go. My very favorite friends are the ones I like to call "Feet Stompin Friends". Let me explain…

Tonight a few of us were watching "So You Think You Can Dance" and of COURSE we all have to try out our dance moves every single week. Molly says that she never ceases to pull a muscle on Thursday nights and I can TOTALLY relate. She even said she went down in the splits fully pregnant last week and it wasn't pretty. Nights when I watch that show are usually pretty joyous for me because I like it so much, but adding Noel and Molly to the mix made it the perfect combination.

We usually take a bathroom break about halfway through and it's hilarious because everyone dances their hearts out to the bathroom. Noel screamed bloody murder as I leaped past the door and then she caught me with my leg over my head when I thought I was waiting alone. It seemed that I was going to be the only one stuck in embarrassing moments but luckily Noel took the cake. She started singing "SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DAAAANCE DAAANCE DAANCE" and moved her body like there was no tomorrow! Next thing I know as she's getting to the climax of her shake, she SMASHES into the wall!

I was right behind her and a wave of uncontrollable laughter hit me like a ton of bricks. Watching her completely spalt into the wall made me laugh so hard that I had to get in the Downward Dog position and stomp my feet to relieve myself from the laughter coursing through my body. I stomped and stomped and stomped until happiness filled every inch of me.

Foot Stompin Friends are the ones that make you laugh so hard it hurts. Foot stompin friends are the ones that make you get in the Downward Dog but don't think anything of it. You can't do anything too crazy for them because your comfort level is so deep and anything weird you do is just an opportunity for another laugh.

If you only see the serious side to me, you are only seeing 50% of story. There is definitely an entire half devoted to laughter and fun and taking the edge off life. There is definitely a side to me that comes out around my 'Foot Stompin Friends' that gives me this intense desire to put on a banana suit and fling myself out the sunroof on the highway. If you never see that side to me…you are only seeing a very small piece of the puzzle!

One time I had a guy ask me what sort of things drive me and keep me going. My response was that humor drives me. There is always something to laugh at everyday. No matter what happens in my life, there will never be a time when I can't get together with my 'Foot Stompin Friends' and laugh until my stomach can't take it anymore. Humor will be here to stay and nothing can take that away. Humor is something that drives me…humor is something that gives me hope.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

*Quarter Life Crisis*

I am a very "passionate" person you could say and this quarter life crisis of mine has made for the perfect storm. The after graduation freak-out sessions have not been below the radar thanks to the sudden fears that come when you're on the cusp of well….LIFE. A new job, moving out, getting a (very much awaited) nephew, applying for graduate school,friends getting married EVERY weekend….it just all kinda makes your head spin sometimes. It has definitely caused me to be a little more of an emotional basket case than I'd like to be when it comes to well…everything. haha And yes..I am laughing, because I'm that ridiculous. I can only laugh at myself at the end of the day and forgive my shortcomings in such a crazy time. There is hope for me…I just know there is. I also know i'm not the only one feeling this way because everyone in my circumstance is basically going through the same thing! There is much comfort in that.

I apologize to anyone who has had to see the sour side to my crisis. Thank you to all the lovely ladies who are willing to listen to my banters into the wee hours of the morning. Most of my friends have had to listen to me argue back and forth with myself a couple times. Thank you to those who have fed me snacks that ease my spinning head. Thank you to all the friends who constantly make me laugh and know exactly what this crisis feels like! In the words of Noel: "I am just standing out on this branch facing life saying: 'So..I'm here! what?!' " hahaha SO TRUE!!!!!!! I need to write a major book on this first year out of college thing. It's like super strange, people! And it's only just begun!

I do believe the Lord is using this time for such great purposes and changing my heart along the way. He always has a way of making me a better person even when I'm a completely out of control! His love covers me and I will be just fine. I will come out of this quarter life crisis better than when I went in it! I am already learning to cook which is a really good and fun thing. Don't worry those of you who aren't quite the susie homemaker like me yet…it's not scary and it's not hard! (I've cooked twice, so I know.)

I overcame my fear of the oven and stove which was a big step for me. Boiling water doesn't send me screaming into the other room and I actually feel empowered when I know how to use a dish washer. I am very glad that I moved out and learned a few things about life because facing it is much less scary than thinking about it! Getting out and actually doing it is not so bad at all. I think I'll survive and even better yet, I think I'll like it. There are definitely good sides to the quarter life crisis…like facing your fears and realizing they won't kill you. And when you least expect it, they might even mold you into who you're meant to be.

Monday, June 20, 2011

*It's best to just let the Mario impression go!*

A group of kids I babysit for were playing together over in a corner. I heard the conversation getting a little heated, so I listened closer in order to step in if I needed to. A little boy stood there very frustrated and finally burst out: "I like bugs! I like dirt…but I DON'T like you!!!" Uh oh…red alert.

"We NEVER say we don't like somebody EVER." I said as I walked over to break up the scene. The little boy looked at me frazzled:"I mean I do like her, but I don't like her as a girlfriend! She keeps calling me her boyfriend and it's embarrassing me!" I brought the girl over with me to try to coax her into games with the girls, but she had her eyes on that boy the entire time. She proceeded to get dirt and bugs out on the table. "Over here…look over here! I have your FAVORITE stuff…all you have to do is come over with ME!"

The little boy looked scared and ran behind the corner. She watched him and turned slowly to me with such sad eyes explaining the way she felt. "But he IS my boyfriend, Miss Abby. I love him. I love him SO much!" I picked her up in a tight embrace and put her in my lap. "First of all, you are way too young to have a boyfriend, and secondly, he has to feel the same way. You can't force someone to love you back and I know that can be hard." She held me tighter in a dejected hug and whispered quietly: "But I have all of his favorite bugs…why doesn't he like me?"

Her words trailed off in my head as I was transformed into my fifth grade self on the day I asked myself the same thing for the first time. I had really liked this boy and a few people told me that they were SURE he was going to ask me out. I picked out my favorite butterfly earrings and Pooh shirt that were sure to impress and couldn't wait till I saw him that day. This was it…I was finally going to be a cool girl with a boyfriend!

About lunchtime I was standing at my locker and noticed him down the hall out of the corner of my eye. My heart started beating so fast I could literally feel it about to jump out of my chest. "THIS IS IT!!!" I thought to myself in anticipation. I saw him smiling and knew exactly why…the closer he got, the more excited I became. He continued getting nearer and nearer and I finally faced his way directly. To my utter horror he began to laugh and point at me…he continued to laugh as he walked by and his friend screamed "DOUBLE CHIN likes him!" as they both hunched over in hysterics. Before I knew it, they were both gone and I was just left with myself.

I quickly grabbed the cabage patch doll that lived in my locker and ran to the bathroom. I began to cry so hard that I feared I'd never stop. I looked in the mirror and stared very intently, noticing that I DID infact have a double chin. I hugged the doll tight and tried to comfort myself the best way I knew how….by talking to a doll. "Oh Hannah, I do have a double chin. I can never leave this bathroom! I really thought he liked me…why doesn't he like me?" Hannah didn't respond.

As the memory faded in my mind, I grabbed the little girl a bit closer. That day effected me for a long time and I didn't want this day to effect her. "You are a very special girl and you shouldn't be worried about boys! Put your dirt and bugs away and go have some fun." She looked at me still very upset "But I'm so sad. I love him so much." I could totally relate to what she was saying, but seeing the scared little boy made me realize the other side of the story. "Baby, sometimes the best thing you can do for someone you love is to leave them alone. You wouldn't want to embarrass someone you love, would you?" "No…I guess not." "Exactly. Believe me, I know how this can be. Did you know that I liked a boy for a whole year who did not like me back? I gave him my own dirt and bugs, but it never did any good. Take it from me….it's better to leave it alone. He will be better off and so will you!"

"Well, his mario impression is so great, though." "I bet it is! And I'm sure the guy I liked has a killer mario impression, too, but I have to let that go. When you are old enough you will end up with a man who does a fine mario impression and he might even do luigi, too…I truly believe that. Let's leave the mario's alone and go for the ones who can do more than one impression and are smart enough to like us back. And MAYBE just MAYBE they will have dirt and bugs waiting for US." She looked at me with a thoughtful look and after a second shouted: "Okay! You're right! I'll let it go!" I smiled at her and hugged her again "Good…that's the most loving thing you can do for him and yourself which makes me VERY proud. You are such a precious little girl and I really do love you! Now STOP thinking about boys for at least ten more years and go have a blast!"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

*Clean Cleaning Supplies?!*

One thing I've learned that blows my mind since moving out of the house is that you have to CLEAN cleaning supplies. I know…completely crazy, right? You clean up with a dish towel or sponge and then you have to wash them both! There is more work because you got the cleaning supplies dirty. That is just super weird and awful if you ask me! Where does the cleaning end?!? It's a never ending cycle of washing madness!!!! You clean the dishes with a sponge, then it gets dirty so you clean that in the sink. Cleaning the sponge makes the sink dirty so you use a towel to clean that which brings about yet another load of laundry!!! Out comes another chore I don't have time for! What is the deal?!?! There HAS to be a better way! Am I just doing it differently or do we all crazily clean cleaning supplies?!?! THIS IS ALL SO WRONG!!! Cleaning supplies must be cleaned?!?! REALLLLY?!

I also didn't realize how dirty a house gets just by existing and you don't really have to make a mess to have a reason to clean. I have been cleaning everyday and it's still not what I want it to be! That's just wrong, too. In a world of women having careers, how is there hope for our houses?! Are we all just going to be crazy people?!?! Am I just doomed to be frantically dragging my vaccum behind me as I leave for work? Unfortunately, my trophy wife plan has failed, so I think maybe so. haha Maybe I should buy more tennis skirts and give it another go.

Monday, June 13, 2011

*Moments in Life*

There are moments in life when I hear myself saying something seriously and have to try very hard not to laugh. Keeping it together when I hear the ridiculousness of my conversation is not an easy feat! For instance, here are some of the things I said today:

"No more saying that Justin Beiber wears bikinis, it's offending people!"
"Get that lunchbox off your head, please!"
"Take your foot out of that hole!!!"

Haha...all in a days work. :) On another note, I had an interesting conversation that deserved quite the record scratch today. It was one of those mouths of babes type things I keep talking about. It's funny how they see the world because it's not reality, but they are more than willing to give their two cents on any matter.

Here's how the conversation went:

"What is your son's name?"-7 yr. old
"I don't have a son."-Me
"You don't?! How come?!?!"
"Well...I'm not even married."
"YOU AREN'T?!?!"
" husband...I'm just an adult."
*Insert inquisitive look* "Sooo....everyone else on earth is married except for you?"
*Throws himself dramatically on the ground* "Is your life just TERRIBLE?!?! Are you just DYING inside?!"
"Um, no. I'm actually pretty happy."
"Well, I would be dying!"

hahaha Insert another record scratch into my long list of moments. Just another welcome to my life, right? All of it will just be hilarious one day and that's what I hold onto. I mean, seriously! You can't make this stuff up!!! People say to me all the time "Only you, Abby..only you" and it's the truest statement I can think of.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

*Just a Girl*

Right now I'm sitting at Starbucks alone and completely overdressed. A man with tattoos all over his arms keeps looking over at me and I'm THIS close to asking him what in the heck he is looking at. I'm about to go to a wedding, so I'm definitely not in starbucks attire. I don't think I really have the right Starbucks attire anyway, because I don't own a pair of toms.

It's always interesting to people watch at places like this. I could sit in the corner all day and dream up stories about what's going on in their lives. Like the couple to my right…the boy is very disheveled looking and the girl is very put together. They seem to be having a good time, but he has plans to move to California at the end of the summer. Her dad can't wait for him to leave because he thinks he's a good for nothing crazy that needs a haircut pronto! All she cares about are the songs he writes for her that make her heart flutter so fiercely she can barely breathe sometimes. Too bad he's made copies of those same songs for every girl he dates, but she doesn't know that yet. Let's let her have her hopes for a little while, because those hopes make her feel more alive than she ever has.

Somehow his awful hair and unkept beard is endearing to her because love is weird like that. She thinks about him constantly and he thinks about her as well when she's right in front of him, anyway. He used to think of her more, but now he'd rather think about his skateboard and future fame in Cali. Men CAN compartmentalize you know so he's got it good. Plus, she's started to nag too much because she keeps telling him he needs a job and it upsets him that she doesn't understand the skater life. He likes his time with her, but things will probably end when he moves. He's more into the summer fling and she's thinking wedding ring. In fact, she writes her first name with his last in her journal quite often, but too bad for her because their love affair will probably be a big blow up pretty soon. They will both wish it never happened, but at least they have this moment now. Because right now…both are happy and having a great time.

I wonder if people ever make stories up about me. Who is this girl in a bright yellow dress that sits alone in the corner staring at everybody? I am completely comfortable when alone in public so I sure hope nobody feels sorry for me. I always wanted to get a sign that says "Alone, but not lonely" to bring out with me in public. The truth is, I just can't get my internet installed until next Saturday and it's driving me crazy! Plus, it's more fun to get out and make up things about people. Even if people don't like to make up stories about me, I like to make up stories about myself. I can relate SO well to Anne of Green Gables because I do exactly what she does. I am always one step away from saying "Call me Cordelia!".

I sometimes think that time has put me in the wrong place. Because really I am from the 1800's where pale skin, a few extra pounds, and dowry's were in! I would be the girl showing up in a pale pink dress dress with lace and ruffles that fits me perfectly. Every grumpy aunt would always start pushing their nephews my way because I was the most sought after woman in town. I'd have my own hair stylist so I'd always look wonderful and my dance skills would sweep any man off his feet. The fact that there wasn't any air conditioner wouldn't bother me because I'd always be too busy happily picking wildflowers in the woods in my spare time. I'd have to be careful though because all the men would try to find me and court me on the woodland paths. They would be so bold as to try and hold my hand and I would have to slap them away or push them into poison ivy if they didn't get the picture. Finally I would fall in love with the poorest/cutest man in town and everyone would be shocked that the towns most eligible bachelorette chose a farm boy. He would think that he was the luckiest man in the world and I would pay for him to get a bath because my dowry was still in tact. He would thank me by carrying me off into the sunset.

Wouldn't that be beautiful? Just like Anne, I find myself brought back to reality even if I wish I could live in my imagination. Unfortunately, my reality is a little less extravagant. I'm just a girl sitting alone in starbucks giving my mind some free time to play. I'm just a girl figuring out what it's like to be a grown up and living on my own. I'm just a girl who calls the cable company and bank confused way too much. I'm just a girl that hears silence more now than I ever have. Living alone is a great thing, but I think it takes a really strong person to be able to do it. I go to sleep to silence…wake up to silence…come home in the afternoon to silence…and it can get a little eerie at times. If I weren't such terribly good company, I might get sad sometimes…...but luckily I have my dreams. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

*The Computer Guy*

I've worked at the same school in the summer for many years now, so I've started to make long term relationships with many of the students. Unfortunately, kids have a great memory and they won't let you live anything down.

Today I went into the 5th and 6th grade room to watch the students for a little bit . One of my former kids immediately walked up to me and started batting his eyelashes and pretending to swish his hair around. "Have you seen the computer guy, Miss Abby?!" he said in the most drawn out tone possible. I couldn't believe my ears. This boy was bringing up something from TWO YEARS AGO.

The school was getting smart boards and new computers that summer, so there was a guy who would come in sometimes to install. He was about four years older than me and we are both writers so we had a lot to talk about. Each time he came in, I did the nice thing and went over to talk to him for about 8 minutes or so. I was only doing the polite thing by making him feel welcome. (And ya, he was cute which didn't hurt things). Anyway, I didn't think I was acting funny or anything but apparently I am ridiculous. Nothing like a child to reveal how obnoxious you are, right?

EVERYTIME he left the little boys would run up beside me and do an impression of how I acted. They all giggled way more than they should and played with their invisible flowing hair. "Oh, computer are just SOOOOOO cute" they would say mocking me. "Come on, guys! I was just being friendly!" "I'd say! You laughed at EVERYTHING he said and he wasn't even funny! If your smile was any bigger it would of blown right out of your face!!!"

haha...out of the mouths of babes, right?

Monday, June 6, 2011

*Nut Free Table*

Well, the world is full of nuts and it's nice to know that schools these days have a way of getting away from them. It's a new concept I found out about today called the "Nut Free Table".

I was sitting on the stage watching my students as my friend Matt leaned over and told what I thought was a bad joke:"Hey Abby, guess there's no crazy people allowed there!" I couldn't even fake laugh because I didn't understand what he meant, but then I saw it...something that I will never forget until the day I die. A table with a few little kids sitting at it titled the "Nut Free Table".

That's right...if you are highly allergic to nuts there is now a table with the label on it. No more embarrassing outbreaks! No more ostracizing the kids who think it's okay to bring peanut butter crackers to school! No more hatred of the peanut butter sandwich that has caused such controversy! All our problems are solved!!!

All this tree hugging and nut free stuff is getting a little out of hand if you ask me. But who am I to say? I am just a 23 year old girl that loves paper towels more than trees.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

*These Walls*

I remember walking into this room for the very first time. I know you can't actually have a relationship with four walls, but I felt an instant connection from the start. It was my very first personal space that I didn't have to share and I reveled in my newfound freedom. There are not many places I feel completely free in this life, but my room has been one of them. It's my safe zone.

It holds my secrets, my fears, my joys, my sorrows, and most of all it has been a place where the Lord has met with me time and time again. When the world outside pushed me from all sides and I felt like everything was going wrong, I could just close these doors and feel an element of safety. When I was in here, everything else was out there…and I liked it.

This room has seen so many things which has caused me to grow quite attached. I learned how to use make-up and what a blow dryer could do for my hair. I had many jr. high sleepovers and girl talks with my braces making quite the show. This room was the place I danced around after my first kiss when I was sixteen years old. August 4, 2004…how could I forget? I wrote down all my future kids names in a journal with lots of hearts the next day. (Taylor Swift's song "Fifteen" describes me in perfection at that age). I thought my dreams were always going to come true and love always had a happy ending. These walls hold my passionate dreaming heart that never thought I could be broken. These walls hold the days when I realized that wasn't true. These walls hold many tears. These walls hold my heart.

In this room I wrote many journals and had countless hours of closeness to the Lord that are so precious to me. My parents laugh about how I always get home and run strait to my room, but it's seriously one of my favorite places in the world. Leaving this room makes me feel like I'm literally having to let part of myself go and I think that's why I have to leave. Because the fact of the matter is, my safe place is in the Lord and it can't be found in a room even if it feels like it.

I can't hold onto the past anymore. I can't continue to open up to these walls every night. I can't continue to be terrified of change and the future. As my graduation balloons started to sag and reality set in, I realized pretty quickly that it was time to move on. It's time to leave the past behind and begin the next chapter in my life. It's time to leave the wonderful place my incredible parents have given me for so long. I have new walls to give my heart to and new memories to make. I have a future that will be full of changes and it's time to get used to it.

Even though this room is precious to me and my heart aches to leave, I am getting to take the most important part with me. Jesus Christ will be right beside me tomorrow in my new house and He has promised to follow me wherever I go. More importantly, He has promised to lead me to those places. I need Him to make my decisions for me, because I can't make the right ones on my own. I know He WILL be faithful and never forsake me and I can rest in that. Thank you, Lord for being the constant that never changes. You are way better than a room.