Oct 18

(she is gonna kill me when she reads that title)

Getting that card last week from Jenni, really threw me back to a state of nostalgia.

I first met Jen through a mutual friend, our first week of college. “Met” is hilarious because I really just came barging into her life without so much as a warning.

My friend Shawn called me my second day at school just to see how I’d settled in, and while we were talking, he told me about how his friend Jenni just left for school too and he was pretty damn sure it was the same school. At the time, there were three girls’ dorms. One was actually closed for renovations, and I was sure she didn’t live in my dorm, so it HAD to be the dorm next door. I rudely rushed Shawn off the phone, told him I loved him and I’d call him later, blah blah blah, and made like lightening to the neighboring dorm. I ran from room to room reading the names (they had our names posted on our doors) until I found Jenni’s. I knocked on the door and this tiny little blonde opened the door and I immediately asked:

“Do you know Shawn (last name withheld for he might just kill me)?”

“Um…yes?”

“I know him too, I just got off the phone and he told me you were here!”

“No way!”

“Way!”

And that was that. We were immediate friends.

Jenni and I had some of our BEST times in college. I remember our little “traditions” like Tuesday nights at “Taco Bell”. We’d eat the Nachos Supreme and drink Ice Water, because it was cheap and when you’re in college, unless you come from a rich family, you are BROKE. We’d split a pack of Marlboro Lights or Camel Special Lights. We would carpool to “The Cellar” on Tuesday nights (after Taco Bell) and Thursday nights. (Both nights were “Ladies Night” so it was always free) She and I could tear up a floor. No kidding. She drove a Nissan Sentra and the MILES we put on it. We saw each other through “one night stands” with people we cannot even believe we went out with now. (T-Bone? Eric? Good LORD!) We dated all kinds of boys, from thugs to college geeks, to frat boys.

Then we began to grow up. She saw me in the early years of my marriage, when I was suffering from a lot of growing pains. I saw her through her first serious committed relationship. There were many nights we would cry to each other on the phone. We saw each other through a lot of pain AND a lot of happiness. Through many drunken nights too. Shots of “Buttery Nipples” chased with Keg beer at my mother in law’s 50th birthday bash? In which she stayed by me because I was so drunk I barely remember anything past that first shot. Lord, that girl has seen me at my all time lows and has been there steadfastly when I decide to pick myself up. I have tried to be the same for her.

Then she moved to Colorado and I remember the last night we spent out at the Lenoir Moose Lodge, because frankly, Lenoir is a small town, and there really wasn’t any other place with a jukebox AND a dance floor. So we danced until late into the night and left each other with a tearful goodbye.

Selfishly I miss her and wish we lived closer but moving to CO was the best decision she ever made. She is the happiest I’ve ever known her to be…and I’ll take that over anything.

When we have the rarity of both being back in North Carolina at the same time, we always try to steal time together, even if it is just a couple of hours. The last time we were together, we were on Mama Jean’s front porch, drinking Captain Morgan’s and Coke.

She and I have become very busy with our lives as of late but I know I could pick up the phone tomorrow and it would be like no time was ever lost between us…

I am blessed to have a tight circle of close girlfriends and I’m blessed to have Jenni in that circle. And though years actually pass between real live talks on the phone, I know that if I ever need her, I know her number and she’ll be there to listen.

Oct 17

I watched the movie “Elephant” again tonight on HBO, and I came to a realization. Maybe not having kids isn’t such a bad idea.

I mean, I think I want a child, but there are a lot of doubts in me also. Growing up with such dysfunction, I am terrified at completely fucking up a child for life. I know that deep down? This is one of the many reasons, I haven’t had one. There has been something in my subconscience that makes me take the pill even though I know that part of the reason is so my reproductive organs will straighten up and act right.

But perhaps those same organs are smarter than I am. Maybe my body is telling me, that kids? ain’t gonna happen in my lifetime. As fucked up as it sounds, maybe when the doctor looks at you after another miscarriage and says “it just wasn’t meant to be”…there’s something to that.

I fear my children will either be the ones doing the shooting, or they’ll be so spoiled that they’ll be the brats that drive someone to feel like they want to kill them. Or maybe they’ll just be the innocent by-stander who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I’m a fucked up girl. A lot of my good friends know just how much. I have a warped psychy even though I project a pretty stable image. Sure, I make fun of my mental instability but only the ones who know me the best, know how serious my mental instability is.

I am prone to depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behavior, fits of rage that could make you pee your pants…

Sure I’m not as fucked up as I used to be, I’ve gotten the therapy, come to terms with things in my past, my current life, etc.

And don’t get me wrong, I have an incredible support system. I’ve also taken responsibility for past actions and like to think I’ve moved on. But there is a dark place in me which will always carry that pain, a pain that will always be waiting to surprise me one day when all of a sudden, I don’t feel like getting out of bed, or find myself crying over unmatched socks, or find myself blowing up at my sweet, loving husband who worships me. Luckily, he knows there is a stable side of me too…but the unstable side? Is pretty scary. Putting a kid in the equation? Shakes my very foundation.

There are people who were meant to be parents and ones who aren’t. Unfortunately too many children are products of the ones who aren’t. Ones who, for some reason, decided to have a child and raise it. I don’t want to be one of those parents.

And though the wounds eventually heal, the mental pain stays lurking in a dark corner waiting for an opportunity to latch on and never let go.

Maybe one day, I’ll feel differently, but for now, I’ll thank my lucky stars every night when I swallow that tiny pill.

Oct 15

If you’ve been reading this blog for the past few months or more, you’ll remember when I talked about Marissa and Chris, our new friends who spent the summer in “Hell or somewhere similar” while we were there. Howard, myself, Kristen and Ben became immediate friends with them and the six of us spent many weekends hanging out together. Marissa and Chris worked with disabled children in the village and would often show off artwork they did with one of the kids or tell stories of a “breakthrough” they shared. One Saturday night, we were having dinner at their place, and Marissa was showing off her latest artwork done with one child they had grown particularly close with. For some reason, one watercolor piece really stood out to me. It was a picture of nothing specific but an array of bright yellows, reds, blues and other various colors just randomly swirled and feathered against a black background. I kept admiring it until everyone got sick of hearing about it and we went back to our dinner. Our last weekend together, it was very emotional and we had a good night reminiscing and laughing and trying not to face the truth of just how much we would miss each other. On our way out the door to return home, Marissa presented me with that picture. I was so happy, I nearly cried but swallowed the lump in my throat. I told her I was going to have it framed and I did. I receive d it just a few weeks ago in the mail and it turned out soooo beautiful. The guy at the frame shop convinced me to go with a saffron matting and a black frame. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but once I opened the package, I knew I’d made the right choice. It is now hanging on a lone wall because I can’t find anything in my collection that could compliment it. It’s just such a unique and amazing piece of art. I told Marissa if she ever became famous because of it, I would NEVER sell it and would in fact, keep it under lock and key.

Marissa is now in Spain and will be for the next year, and the likelihood of ever meeting up with her in the near future is slim to none but I’m glad I have this beautiful picture to remind me of the good times we had this summer. (I had to lay the picture on the carpet in order to avoid the glare of the flash)

Oct 15

Marissa, hangin’ out.

Oct 15

As promised, here is some photographical evidence that it is indeed snowing here McGrath. This is the earliest I’ve seen it since moving to Alaska. It usually comes around Halloween. But it came on my birthday instead! This photo was taken from our living room window. That is our shed, where we store things like the new bikes that we never ride and yard equipment that won’t get used until the snow melts.

Oct 15

From the front window in the dining room.

Oct 15

From the dining room window.

Oct 15

A closer look.

Oct 15

This was taken this morning. See the ice in the river?

Oct 15

The boardwalk that connects us to Pen Air and McGrath Bed and Breakfast. Covered in snow, of course.

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