Sunday, January 23, 2011

Briannen and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Friday was INSANE, especially for my school. For those who aren't friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter or whatever, you might not realize that last week was midterm week. I was thinking about this earlier and realized that I can't remember midterms from other years (and I barely even remember exams). This year, that came to an end: enter Junior Year. Yipes.

Midterms were the stuff of nightmares for children and last night/today I'm dragging so much that I keep having to adjust my typos and make sure I spell things right (pretty rare for me, honestly; English is definitely my strong suit...math/science...not so much). My study strategy since freshman year has seemed to be: pay attention in class, glance over notes and/or fill out a study guide and then wing it during the test. Probably not such a good idea, huh?

Anyway, this blog is not about midterms, but just know that I (actually!) studied (well...somewhat) and did okay (although I'm taking advantage of a retake on Monday for Biology. Grr.) and that Friday was the last day of them: Finishing up one in Algebra 2 and taking the Biology exam.

While we were in Algebra, someone stepped out to go to the bathroom and was immediately ushered back into the classroom by a uniformed policeman standing in the to a giant German Shepard. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. After a little while, we paraded down the hall to stand against the lockers while (I'm assuming) the dog searched our classroom. We were later allowed to go back and the entire class was in a complete uproar. Some people were upset, others were outright angry and some just didn't care.

Long story short, the dog and the team of policemen spent 3 hours searching our school/classrooms, people, bags, etc. I know that it was absolutely terrifying for the several people who got pulled into the office in order to be searched, but an amazing conversation in Family got me back to what I needed to focus on.

We had an amazing group conversation about what the police were doing there, why they were there and what we could/would/should do about it (conclusion: let the police do their jobs and be as cooperative as possible). Dixon was upfront, honest and welcomed our thoughts and ideas and this led to a completely open conversation. Some people ranted and vented and the rest of us just sat there and let them get their emotions out. I'm sure I'm dramatizing this a little bit (after all folks, I am a writer), but affluent details or not, it was nice to be in a place where we weren't afraid to express our emotions. We also had EVERYONE participating which, honestly, can be a rare thing. (Granted, we did break for a couple games of Ninja and finished up the discussion with a debate on our speciality for our upcoming NCHSHS Olympics (Quidditch was definitely voted was the Krispy Kreme challenge).)

All in all, Friday started off rough, got rougher, then smoothed out, which probably makes this title irrelevant, but I love the book and several times during the day, I wondered if life wouldn't just be easier if I DID, in fact, run away to Australia.

Saturday found Maylen, Mom and I at the home of some amazing friends and we were there, well, all day. (: I slept through a good part of Inception and woke up after some craaazy dreams. Schoolwork (aka, the dreaded APUSH outlines) was completely abandoned, but that's what today is for.

Currently, at the moment, RIGHT. NOW, I'm waiting for Mom to get off a work call so I can go over to friend's and housesit for the next 4 days. I feel like I've packed up for college and it's a strange feeling. Dad asked if I would be home at all and I told him only when I got hungry. Maybe it's REALLY like college. ;)

I don't have a specific message or anything today--I'm just recounting my adventures, so my challenge to you is to come up with your own! Tell me about one thing you've learned from this, from life, from something that's hit you over the head (literally OR figuratively). I do have a topic in mind, but it's a currently-going-on issue, so my emotions are WAY too churned up to write about it.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Years Resolutions

So now we're ten days into the New Year...and I still don't have any resolutions. I considered making my resolution NOT to make any resolutions...but I'm easily influenced by peer pressure. ;-) I feel like some, if not most, are pretty superficial, but nevertheless, here goes:

1) Loose weight. I know this is probably on everyone else's list, but I'm serious here. I haven't really been happy with my body/the direction I'm pushing it in since I stopped riding. Anyone who doesn't think it's a sport--go out and have an argument with a 1,000 pound animal while being roughly 10% of its size. I've been using the excuse "well I'll ride again soon". No, I won't, so I'll stop waiting for the day when a horse appears on my doorstep and get busy. I'm following some fantastic and inspiring weight loss blogs that should hopefully help. (: And if a horse does magically appear...I'll be in better shape to ride it, right??

2) Laugh more. I feel like this should be a standard on anyone's list. Laughing is a medically (and psychologically) good idea. Just did a quick Google search and apparently it burns calories AND is good for your heart!

3) Go for more walks. I live in this absolutely phenomenal neighborhood, which isn't too far from downtown and I never take advantage of that fact. A friend and I used to go "running" around it, but she's moved away and I've gotten lazy. :-( So I'm going to a) start walking to and from school again, b) walk to the library more and c) just go walk around in the afternoons...although maybe I'll save the last two for when it gets warmer.

4) Eat better. I have this absolutely awful habit of just plunking down in front of the TV most weeknights and --if the first isn't bad enough-- grabbing a bunch of chocolate chips to accompany me. While it tastes good in the moment, I feel awful afterward. I realized the other day that I'm having wayyy too many of those "wow, I really shouldn't have had that" moments, so I'm going to start consciously correcting it.

5) Clean out my house. My father is an awful packrat and while I love him to death, I do not appreciate his --and my sister's!-- hoarderlike tendencies. Since my sister's Chinese, this year we're going to honor Chinese New Year and start clearing out selected spaces in our house. Mom and I tackled the craft closet this afternoon and got about half of it completely cleared out and organized in roughly three hours! It was great having so much to drag out to the street tonight for garbage pickup in the morning. So by the end of the year, I almost want to become known as "that house with the million garbage bags in front". (:

6) Stop swearing. I think this is going to be my most difficult one. At school, I feel like (hopefully it's not this bad) I cuss like a sailor on leave. Granted, I am not the only one in my school and I feel like its definitely environmentally influenced, but surely there's a way to get my message across without needing all the extra emphasis. ;-) It's like the food issue though; I'll say something like "blahblahblah profanity blahprofanityblahblah" and then go "...that didn't feel good/wasn't neccessary. Why would I say that??". So my goal, hopefully soon, is to be able to go "blahblahblahblahblah" MINUS PROFANITY. Yikes.

7) Start trusting myself/my opinions. I'm the kinda girl who appears not to have an opinion. On anything. I can be asked a question by a friend/friend's parent like "oh, what do you want for dinner? Chicken or fish?" and my knee-jerk response is to go "oh, whatever" when I reallyreally want chicken because I absolutely can't stand fish if it's not cooked a certain way. Invariably we'll end up having fish and who's to blame? I am. My goal this year is to learn to respectfully and gracefully communicate my opinions because I definitely have them.

Fortunately, in my opinion, that's all I can think of. I'm sure I could be here all night typing, but it's hard to look at myself so critically and it's definitely unpleasant, so I think I'll stop. (:

What are your resolutions this year?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dear Alice, You Seem To Have Lost Your Muchness

We've been watching this movie (Alice In Wonderland) in Family (one of the things that makes my high school so fabulous. Family is when each teacher has a group of students and we meet twice a week and talk/watch movies/go bowling/create our own little family within our school) and the scene came up and just absolutely struck a chord with me. Muchness. What a perfect word. I later realized why the scene had caught my attention: I was unconsciously wondering about my muchness.

There's a quote regarding eating disorders that says "food is not the enemy; your mind is" and the way I see it now, my muchness influences my mind. So what can we do to control our muchness? What is our muchness even made up of?

I decided that my muchness grows stronger when I do things I enjoy. So I've been reading more than I have in months (and making time to read/forcing myself to prioritize is half the battle) and I've started this new routine where my sleeping music has become the This American Life podcasts. Listening to TAL as I'm going to sleep means that I'm ending the day laughing. Who doesn't love that? I'm a VERY visual person and listening to audiobooks is near impossible for me. I have to watch movies with subtitles, otherwise my attention wanders and I forget what the heck the characters are talking about, but during those few minutes (depending on how tired I am, it can be VERY few ;-) ), it can be almost magical to focus on one thing and completely absorb yourself in it. Listening to and visualizing the stories and incidences is boosting my creative energy up 1000%. And this has caused something else to support my muchness: writing.

I've been so blocked for the past couple of months. I have the plots and all the things I want to write, but my Inspiration is missing. It's like I either can't make myself just sit down and write or I force the words out and my story sounds just that: forced. Neither of these make for very good reading, unfortunately. But currently, since I've stopped horseback riding, it's been one of my only major creative outlets.

I view creative energy as something to be channeled. When I have unchanneled creative ideas, I get hyper and unfocused and I've been known to just be completely absentminded because I'm writing out entire chapters in my mind or daydreaming about riding. It's like putting bread into a tube and leaving it out to rise: there are only so many places it can go before it starts leaking out. And I think my muchness is my creative energy. Writing, reading, riding, knitting, working out, etc. are all things that make me feel good and that give me confidence and your muchness depends on that.

Just give it a try. Find something you absolutely LOVE to do and maybe haven't done in a while or haven't really thrown yourself into and pick it back up, even for a day. If knitting is your thing, start on a hat or a scarf; it's the perfect season for that! Or if you're one of those people that are so busy you can't even find time to sleep, I like having dance parties. (: I generally have a song running through my head and after I get out of the shower, I will just stay in the bathroom and dance. Do you know how much fun that is? (It also dries your hair really quickly.) By the end I'm laughing and am so full of energy!

Pick something and give it a try. You don't know what you're missing unless you try and find it. ;-)

Sunday, January 2, 2011


For starters: happy new year to all! 2011 feels like it will be a FANTASTIC year. I can just already tell. (:
Since I still don't have my book back ;) my soapbox today is on negative influences.

Dearest, darling readers, I can't manage to tell you how important having bright lights in your life is (are?).
My family kicked off the year with a party with our some of closest and dearest. There was no one in our house that wasn't/hasn't been a positive influence in our lives and it felt so good. There was laughing, good conversation (to go along with the good food!) and just a general cheerfulness. I heard so much talk on how fantastic 2011 would be and how much would be accomplished/achieved/resolved and how much people were going to move forward. What more can a lucky girl ask for? I'm also proud to say that since this new year began I've made a conscious effort to surround myself with people who simply build me up. At 2am 1/1/11 I was talking to two of my best friends and on 12/31/11 at 12:59, I still want to be talking to them.

Last year I got into a pretty nasty habit of just talking about people. I didn't start rumors, just perpetuated them, which can be as bad as starting the rumor itself. Think about what's worse: the bomb or the blast from it? If there's no one around to spread it, a rumor will just curl up and die. But when people share it and continue talking about it, it grows strength and power, it becomes more elaborate and detailed, like a hurricane.

While you have to assume some of the responsibility for encouraging a rumor, part of your job is also to realize why you're spreading it. Are you around people who encourage or begin spreading rumors? Do you feel the need to spread rumors and lies to feel cool? Hurting other people is not cool, my loves. With rumors, someone ALWAYS gets hurt; it could even be you. Lies affect you, even if you don't like to admit it.

When my mom goes into schools to teach energy psychology and TAT she has this exercise that she loves doing that shows how rumors affect each person physically. She has a volunteer at the front of the class and a group of kids at the back. The group in the back will think alternately negative and positive things towards the volunteer at the front and with muscle testing (visualize the second paragraph being acted out, minus the herb), she shows how negative energy lowers an individual's personal energy/protection/aura/whatever you wanna call your personal bubble.
She will then switch the groups and have a volunteer project out negative thoughts/feelings and shows how their personal bubble will lower/weaken.
Reflexively, positives influences build you up and encourage you.

Now, I totally understand if you're not with me on the whole energy/muscle testing deal (one of my friends jokingly insists that my mother does voodoo) ;) but think of how you feel after you've spent time with someone who supports you...versus someone who is mean and cruel or even just rude. I feel drained after I'm with the rude person, even though I may not feel like that when I'm with them. So one of my goals this year is to surround myself with loving, beautiful, spiritual people and draw as many people as I can into our glowing circle.

So my challenge to you is to reach out to that one person who stands alone in the lunch line or sits alone or is always picked on. Just one. I find that it is much easier to love someone else then to love yourself; so love someone else, encourage them, boost them up...and then we'll work on turning the beauty that you're projecting outward, inward.

Getting off my soapbox now. I love you all.