Sunday, March 31, 2013

In which I take whatever excuse I can to write about myself

So...Andria at Is this Awesome? Y/N nominated my blog for a Liebster award! I'll be honest with you, I'm not really sure what that is (are there prizes if I win? or do I just get warm fuzzies for being nominated?), but I like German words and I like friends, and I like having other people give me ideas of what to write about, so I'ma roll with this.

So, conditions for the Liebster award require me to post 11 things about myself. Thus, in no particular order:

11 facts about me:

1. I have an inordinate fondness for reptiles. Especially turtles and snakes. I would love an albino corn snake (they're so pretttyyyyy) but barring that, I would be happy with a box turtle.
2. I once peed my pants while on a date with a boy I really liked.
3. This one time I went scuba diving in the Caribbean and threw up. On my sister's head. She didn't notice though, because we were underwater so the vomit just kinda...dissipated. Honestly, I'm just glad I remembered to remove my regulator first, because nothing sounds worse than inhaling your own puke.
4. I don't like fruit. The textures make me gag. Except apples. And pineapple. Pineapple is wonderful.
5. When I was 14, I had the lead in my junior high's production of Annie Get Your Gun. This marked the apex of both my acting career and my popularity.
6. I have a thing for beards. I will readily admit that not every man can pull off a beard, but those that can...holy cow.
7. I sort of have an obsession with webcomics. Here are some of my favorites: Wondermark, Dinosaur Comics, Hark! A Vagrant!, and Nimona.
8. I love Chacos. My Chacos have accompanied me to 7 different countries, 6 castles (if I'm counting right), several mountaintops, a few church meetings and both an LDS temple and a Hare Krishna temple.
9. I once climbed a bookshelf in my sleep.
10. I play the ukulele. It is my antidepressant. (Well, actually Zoloft is my antidepressant...but the ukulele is my other, slightly more effective antidepressant).
11. When I acted up as a small child, my parents had to ground me from books instead of from friends, because I didn't care enough about friends for that to be much of a reinforcer.

My 11 answers to Dria's questions:

1. What is your favorite type of book to read? All of them. All the books in the world. Or anything with really beautiful prose. Even if the story is nonexistent, give me some pretty words and I'm happy.
2. What is your dream job? Professional napper. Oh wait, a real job? Elementary music specialist.
3. If you could visit any country, which would you visit? Just one country? Well, I think the next one on my list is the United Kingdom. Specifically, I would like to backpack the entire British Isles for a few weeks. Maybe I'll do that next year, after graduation.
4. Where do you think you'll be in ten years? Earth, probably. I mean, I guess there's a chance that there will be colonies on Mars by that point, but Mars seems kinda...barren. And far from my family.
5. If your 16-year-old self could see you now, what would he or she think of you? She would be surprised that I am planning on teaching elementary school, disappointed in how little I practice the piano, ecstatic about how much I've traveled, and slightly scandalized by how much I like kissing (my 16 year-old self was seriously considering not kissing anyone until she was engaged).
6. If you could donate one million dollars to any charity, which would it be? I think I would first put it all into Kiva loans. Once they were repaid, I would donate the money to the United Way, the Liz Shropshire Foundation, the Beverly Taylor Sorensen Foundation, and Water for Life.
7. What do you consider to be your greatest strengths? Passion. For my life work, for the people I care about, and for life itself. Also, I'm pretty hot.
8. If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which would you choose? An otter. Because they're adorable, and smart enough to use tools, and playful, and awesome swimmers. And also they are rather fierce when provoked.
9. What is your favorite type of music? The kind that makes me remember what I love about life and opens me up to experiences and feelings beyond my own. 
10. How old were you when you had your first kiss, and how did it happen? I was 19, and had been exclusive with my first boyfriend for just about 24 hours. I was terrified of kissing, and told him I wanted to wait like, a week. That night, we were watching Beauty and the Beast and I was reminding myself over and over that I wasn't going to kiss him that night, because he was sick and I didn't want to catch it. After the movie, we both fell asleep on his parents' couch. We woke up around 3:00 am and were talking. I was only half-conscious and saying a lot of thing that didn't quite make sense. He asked if he could kiss me. I tried really hard to remember why I didn't want to kiss him, but I was too sleepy, so I let him kiss me. The next day I woke up coughing, and remembered why I wasn't supposed to kiss him. Thankfully, it was just a cold, not mono or anything.
11. Who is your favorite figure from history? Hmm... Hildegard von Bingen was pretty rad. I would pick either Hildegard or Abe Lincoln.

11 blogs I'm nominating for the liebster award:

Andy's blog: the joy of life
Bekah's blog: From the Mixed-up Files of Ms. Rebekah E. Westrup
Callie's blog: sunshine
Matt's blog: matt's blog
Meilina's blog: Good Things to Come
Emilia's blog: In Which I Start a Blog
Whitney's blog: Hypaethral
Ellie's blog: life is beautiful 
Todd's blog: Fritter and Waste the Hours in an Off-hand Way
Jenni's blog: the breadbox
Jacob's blog: A Thomas or a Paul?

Questions I want the nominees to answer:

1. What is the most impulsive thing you've ever done?
2. What is your favorite breakfast food?
3. If you had to choose one holiday to repeat every day for a year, what would it be?
4. What is your favorite type of weather?
5. Why do you blog?
6. Cats or dogs?
7. If you had to choose one, would you rather spend the rest of your life on a vegetarian diet or a gluten-free diet?
8. Would you rather backpack Europe staying in cheap hostels along the way, or take a Mediterranean cruise?
9. What is your favorite national park?
10. If you had to live in the world of one science fiction or fantasy book, which would you choose?
11. What song is stuck in your head right now? (bonus points if you include a video of yourself singing along).

note the first: if you don't feel like doing a liebster post in response to being nominated, no pressure. Though I would love to hear what all y'all have to say. Also, I'm way too lazy to go through and comment on all 11 of these blogs to inform you that you were nominated. So...hopefully you see it on here? Maybe I'll tag you on facebook or something, too.

note the second: there are a lot of other people whose blogs I love. way more than eleven. if Dria picked you in her post, you were automatically disqualified for mine. sorry, friends.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Top o' the Mornin' To Ye

Perhaps it's just a manifestation of my spring fever, or the fact that I watched Leap Day last weekend, but I have been incredibly psyched for St. Patrick's Day this year. (Which is a little ridiculous, because what would I even do on St. Patrick's Day? I don't drink, which seems to eliminate...the majority of options). So far, my plans are to listen to Irish pub rock all weekend (good thing I already have a Pandora station in place for that), get friends to play some non-alcoholic drinking games with me (Fresca pong, anyone?), watch Waking Ned Divine, and go see Natalie MacMaster perform some Celtic fiddle tunes. Some of these activities won't actually happen until a few days after St. Patrick's, but that just means longer celebrations for me! Hooray!

Commenters: what do you usually do for St. Patty's, if anything? Do you have any vaguely Irish plans this weekend?

And, for your listening pleasure:

In other news...if any friends want to come with me to the Natalie MacMaster concert on Tuesday...let me know, yeah?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A post about medication? I guess?

Here is the bizarre thing about antidepressants:

I know that they work. I know because the times I have forgotten to take them for more than 2 days in a row have been miserable. Picture a weepy mess unsure why she can't get off the couch. Picture 5 naps a day. Picture grumpy and snappy. Picture...picture me before the meds, I guess.

But I also know that really, I can go 2 or 3 days and be safe. Except that these little pills make wonderful placebos. So if I start to feel down and I remember I haven't taken them yet, I just pop a pill and feel much better (Even though I know that it is physically impossible for Zoloft to have that quick of an effect). And if the depression strikes on a day where I have taken the meds, I just have to tell myself over and over again that I took them that morning, so I should be feeling all right. And, pretty often, that does the trick.

It's kinda like how when you realize that you forgot your deodorant that morning you instantly start dripping sweat. I mean, you would probably sweat more either way, having forgotten your antiperspirant, but knowing you forgot just makes it worse. And telling myself I wore deodorant (even when I didn't) will usually keep me from sweating.

This mind-body connection thing is crazy.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I still haven't taken my meds today...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

In which I am content.

For the past few weeks, I've felt myself disappearing.

It was terrifying, because it was reminiscent of these days, or these ones...

dark times.

(heck, I'm not afraid to say it: pre-Zoloft times).

I couldn't remember what I loved, or even what I liked.
I didn't want to do anything.
But not doing anything was even worse, because it turns out...when you can't remember who you are, being alone is unbearable...

because you don't even have yourself to keep you company.
And so you stay busy, you stay around people, and you sleep a lot.

But then, over the last few days, I found myself waking up a little bit, like a perennial popping back through the soil in the spring. It wasn't ever dead, the bulb was there all winter long, waiting for the sun to come back.

And I don't know for sure what it was...
but it might have been being in a classroom, teaching music for the first time in far too long
and then spending almost an hour just chatting with the teacher I work with.

It could have been spending an hour talking with a new friend about moray eels, free diving, and the new edition of the scriptures.

It might have been the Duke Ellington/Super Mario Brothers mashup that a kid in my jazz class improvised the other day,

or the look on the face of a woman I had barely met as she sang to me, (just for me) to "outshine the sun" and looked at me with as much love as one stranger can look at another.

Whether it was all of these things or none, it feels like someone who loves me has whispered, "You didn't disappear. You were here all along, you just forgot. See, let me remind you who are."

And now I'm smiling at strangers again,

and singing because I want to

and talking to people because I love them, and not because I'm afraid

because I'm not afraid

and maybe tomorrow all of this will go away and I'll feel like a shadow again but for now, I feel light (it's amazing how heavy nothingness can get) and I feel complete.

And best of all:

I'm still here.