Welcome to My Living Novel

In my world, the plot is always thickening.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Where Does the Time Go?

It’s been a while since I’ve written in this blog. It wasn’t because I was busy, but because I was uninspired, which is strange because I did so many thought provoking things since my last entry. I went to New York and Phoenix, AZ for work, my first official business trips. A death in the family lead me to my home town, Detroit, MI for a funeral that turned out to be more of a mini-family reunion that an event of mourning. And for the last month, a new man fills my free time and makes me smile more than I used too. Any one of these things should have inspired keystrokes, but my fingers just would not move and my mind despised the idea of ordering all of my thoughts in colorful paragraphs. Even now, I don’t have the energy to relive the past with you, but I can tell you about the future.

My work in the mental health world has finally become rewarding, as I feel like I’m getting involved in projects that are so much bigger than myself that I’m awed by them. I really don’t know how wise it is, but they are training me to be a clinical trial coordinator, to replace a colleague of mine who will be leaving next year. If I officially take over her position next year, we are talking about the fastest rate of promotion in research history. It usually takes a Master’s and at least 3 years of clinical research experience before you’re qualified to be a lead coordinator, but after just one year of experience and a Bachelor’s they are grooming me for the position. There’s, of course, no guarantee that I will get the position. They may come to their senses at any moment. I’m just happy that they would even think of me for the position. It’s nice to have others see something wonderful in you that you yourself don’t even see.

Also, my motivation to write is returning without any rhyme or reason. Suddenly, I find myself jotting down notes whenever I think of something witty, coming up with story ideas, and being so foolishly optimistic that I’m going to participate in National Novel Writing Month again. It’s such a big commitment and such a monumental task, but I know that I can do it. Since I was able to reach the 50 thousand word requirement last time, my personal goal for this time will be 75 thousand words. I know now that this task is not about creating a masterpiece. This is an exercise in personal diligence, which is the virtue that I need to work on the most. I’ve been so lazy lately, becoming more and more of a couch potato every day, staring blankly at the tv screen, and gaining pound after pound as a consequence. You’re truly in a terrible state when both your mind and body become lazy at the same time, but once I start exercising my imagination, I’m hoping that my body will follow.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Reluctantly Upgrading

I’m starting to think that I will never get out of debt. Just as I was rejoicing about my raise and the balance on my credit card getting smaller and smaller, my laptop decided to take a turn for the worst. My floppy disk drive gave out on me, and the worst part is that there seems to be no replacing it. I’ve always owned hand me down computers, which were completely functional just not very up to date. I'm usually cool with that though because I’m not a big gadget person. I have no desire to update my Playstation One, for any of the latest systems. I refuse to spend my money on a Ipod because I really do enjoy carrying 50 pounds worth of CDs around with me (what can I say, I’m a big fan of cover art). So of course I feel the same way about my computer. I've been working off of Windows 95 for the last 7 years and had no desire to upgrade. The computer itself still works fine. It's only the floppy drive that needs replacing, but it’s impossible to find an external floppy drive that is compatible with Windows 95.

I nearly cried in the store when they told me that there was no hope for my ancient electronic friend, and I was furious at how expensive it is to set up a new computer. I mean I don’t mind paying $800 for a desktop, but when you have to add an extra $150 for Microsoft Word, an extra $100 a modem, an extra $80 for wireless internet connections, and an extra $40 for a printer cable, all of those little extras get you to the point that you want to hit someone. Especially since I’ve always gotten my computers second-hand, the thought of paying $150 for software that I’ve always gotten for free, seemed preposterous to me.

Anyway, my temper has finally cooled down now that I actually have the new computer in my house. It’s absolutely beautiful with its glistening 22 inch screen and the brand new desk that it’s sitting on. I spent entirely too much money on it, and it’s going to take me 6 months to pay it all off, but I think it’s worth it. Knowing me I’ll probably keep the thing forever. Plus, I now have a $1500 reason to finish my novel.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Where Are They Now?

It’s been over two years since the Ex broke up with me. He was on a mission to “find himself” and wanted to see if he could make it in the acting and modeling market in New York. I didn’t put up much of a fight when he said that he was leaving because I was trying to follow the saying “If you love someone set them free.” It was hard to let go at first because I was so deeply in love with him. I would have even followed him to New York if he asked, but he never did. I cried for two weeks straight over him, partly because I was hurting but mostly because I knew he was making a mistake. What could I do though? We all need to find our own path, so I wished him luck even gave him a book that I thought would help him with his search, but of course things didn’t work out the way he planned. New York was not very kind to him and he wound up working in sales and promotions, instead of actually modeling. He’s become a traveling salesman of sorts, promoting what ever company will hire him at fairs, parades, and conferences. It’s a bull-shit job if you ask me and a bull shit life. He’s always traveling, doing unrewarding work, and missing out on all types of activities with friends and family.

Although we’ve been apart, the Ex and I have continued to keep in touch mostly by phone and a few emails here and there, but this year he’s been unusually good about visiting me. He’s passed through Nashville 3 times already this year and has gone out of his way to make sure that we could be together every time. Although he has not officially said anything, it is clear that he wants me back. A year ago, I would have jumped at the opportunity to recapture what we lost, but now I no longer feel inspired by him. He seems both different and the same in all of the wrong ways.

I hate his new physique. He’s so much leaner than he used to be, and I always used to like that extra bit of weight on him. Plus, he started to shave his head to hide his pre-mature balding, which would be okay if he didn’t have one of those unfortunate heads that just looks awkward bald. His personality hasn’t changed one iota though, but in that sad, pathetic way that lets you know the person hasn’t grown or developed into anything better since you left them. There’s nothing about him that attracts me anymore and all of his moves that used to work every time on me, did nothing for me last night. What ever we had is officially over and it’s so empowering to finally be able to close the book on the Ex. There is no more wondering what if, because I know now that it was never meant to be.

This weekend, I’ve also closed the book on another infamous ex, everyone’s favorite, Rocky. I hadn’t seen Rocky in several months and was not complaining. I just figured he moved on and found someone new, however this weekend I found out from Rocky’s trusted sidekick that he was arrested for another DUI in May and since this is his second one that he has to do some jail time and will then be deported. I tried to show sympathy to Rocky’s sidekick, but all of my insides were smiling. Is that wrong? I mean I can’t really feel sorry for him because he deserves it. I’m just frustrated because I know that Rocky is probably stewing in jail, contemplating on all the people he could blame for his incarceration. He would never blame himself, and Lord knows he would never try to learn from his mistakes or change. I can only hope that he proves me wrong. Maybe being sent back to Mexico is exactly what he needs. Lord, knows the States didn’t do him any good.

Anyway, I’m still coming to grips with the fact that I have an ex-boyfriend in prison, and I’m not sure whether I should be amused or embarrassed about it. I’m just thankful that I made it out of the Rocky relationship undamaged and actually even strong than before. I’m at last in a good place in my life, and I know that I’m stable now because on my shaky experiences with the exs.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I'm Staying!

As many of you know, I’ve been quite restless in my current job. The mental health field has really been wearing on my nerves, and I was about to give up on it all together and find a new line of work. However, my sparkling annual performance evaluation changed my lack of motivation and indifference into renewed enthusiasm and what once seemed mundane now holds new possibilities for me.

I’m happy to announce that I’m getting promoted from Research Analyst II to Research Analyst III, which is going to be such a relief for my checking account because ever since I moved out of my mom’s place, I’ve yet to figure out how to stay within my limited budget. Also, the upgraded position gives me so much more working experience, supervising any new research assistants that come on the staff and working on a few industry sponsored research studies at Vanderbilt. I just smiled and nodded my head, thinking of how good I could make all of this sound on my resume.

Anyway, it looks like I’m staying put for at least another year or two. I’ll continue to try to work on my novel, but it looks like this whole research thing is actually turning into more of a career than I thought it would be.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I Can’t Talk Now, I’m reading Harry Potter.

I am in love with the new Harry Potter book. I’m not even half way done with it and I can already feel that the Deathly Hallows is the best book of the series. Rowling truly didn’t waste anytime getting the action started in this book, with a gut-wrenching chase scene within the first couple of chapters. And of course my favorite part, she named one of her characters after me. In this book, she named Dumbledore’s mother, Kendra, and I truly feel so honored to share my name with the amazing fictional woman who gave birth and raised one of the greatest wizards in literary history. It’s still out for debate whether Kendra was a kind mother or a wicked one, but at this point I really don’t care. Because we share the same name, I have a strong personal connection with her and I’m dying to learn the rest of her story. Okay, just coming up for a little air, time to dive back into reading. Please, please, please, let Kendra be the good mother that I expect her to be!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Peer Pressure in a Good Direction

This weekend I had the honor of meeting up with some college friends for a mini class reunion. We played some Frisbee golf, trekked though some gorgeous Tennessee hills, and gazed gaily at a couple shining stars. It was everything wholesome and pure and was a nice change of pace from my sometimes scandalous city life.

All of my friends were doing well and had amazing stories to tell about working in Malaysia, saving the world one house at a time, and going back to school for a PhD. They made me feel so lazy; as if I was wasting all of my skills and talents by staying complacent with what I have. Sure, I’m doing well for myself, but I’m not exactly doing the work that I love and I don’t exactly have any direction for my future.

My friend Scary offered me a variety of possibilities, but once I poked a hole in all of his suggestions, he just left me with the idea of following what I love. This would be a brilliant suggestion, if only I could figure out what I love. I used to be into cultural studies, human rights issues, and research, but now I feel a little uninspired by those issues. I mean I still adore learning about different cultures, but I no longer feel the need to do a in depth research project on the minute details of mundane rituals. I’m also disheartened by research because you do all of this work, get some data, write some papers, but more often than not all of that information just gets filed away in some library never to be read again. What’s the point of research when the information learned from it never seems to be put into practice? With all of my academic interests dying a slow death, all I have left are my social interests in dance and my passing fancy to write, but even these interests are holding on by a thread.

My biggest problem is that I’m making too many excuses, saying that I can not do this or that because of some bogus hindrance that I’m not entirely sure even exists. Another problem is that I’m not staying informed about the opportunities that are out there. It’s impossible to make a decision, when you don’t know you’re options so my current goal is to update my resume, search for something that interests me, and put my name out there. I started small today by looking into some volunteer opportunities in Nashville, and I found an interesting position being an adult literacy tutor for both native English speakers and immigrants. Teaching has never really been my thing, so I don’t know why this particular posting caught my eye. I just thought it was something of value and that I would get as much out of the experience and my student. I’m going to call the office today, see if they still need any help because Lord knows I have the free time and a lot to give.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Celebrating Independence

The Fourth of July is quite possibly my favorite holiday of the year because it never lets me down. Other holidays have too much hype surrounding them as people plan for them months in advance. But for the 4th, there are no perfect turkeys to cook, no perfect presents to buy, and no perfect costumes to create. The fourth is all about celebrating independence, leaving you free to do whatever you like no matter how elaborate or simple.

This fourth I freely practiced my right to flirt and have amazed myself at how many men that I have drawn into my circle in such a short amount of time. The pheromones are clearly still at their highest level of potency and I seem to have a date for every night this week. I’ve never been the type of girl to play the field, dating several different men at the same time, but I am quickly learning that it’s not such a bad thing. I’m even starting to see it as a positive thing, and have adopted the “don’t keep all your eggs in one basket” philosophy for all of my relationships. As we all know from my past, loyalty and monogamy have gotten me nowhere, so now I think it’s time to let loose and have a little fun without all of that heavy contemplation that always seems to weigh on my mind.

My friend Barefoot in Blue has even introduced me to the most fantastic, carefree word for all of my new suitors called “bunn.” She defines a “bunn” as a person who is more than a friend but is less than a girl/boyfriend or as someone you spend time with but who does not quite have a label. At first, I was very resistant to adopt this word into my vocabulary, but I have finally reached a point where calling a guy my friend just seems like lying and calling a guy my boyfriend is making more out of something than there really is. Currently, I’m working on 4 bunns, two of them are familiar names to you as the Kid is still around and the Saint has finally worked his way into bunn territory. However, my holiday was all about one of my new bunns who truly made my fourth of July very memorable, yet who is still not important enough in my life to assign a creative code name to.

Our afternoon started innocently enough with dance practice. He is surprisingly motivated to learn salsa. He’s taking private lessons, downloading salsa videos, coming to the club every day it’s are open, so when he asked me if I would practice with him, I knew that he was being sincere and not trying to holla. Our dance session went well and we worked out some new moves that even I was impressed with. It was perfectly friendly dance session, until he had the brilliant idea of hitting the pool and doing a little synchronized salsa swimming in the water. If you thought salsa was sexy on land, you should see it in the water, instantly splashing me into the gray bunn area, where there is obvious flirting, a few massages, and a dozen compromising position. It was strange because it was bordering on the line of perfectly innocence and risqué, and for a moment there, I felt guilty. I wondered what the Kid would think if he would walk into the pool area and see me in someone else’s arms. I wondered if I was pushing things a little too far. Again, I’m not really sure what’s right or wrong in these gray areas anymore, but I think this open dating phenomenon is definitely worth more exploration on my part. So far, I’m having a ball with it, laughing hard with my head tilted back, smiling until my cheeks hurt, and letting the butterflies have free range of my stomach. I know that I’m playing with fire but isn’t that what independence day is about; lighting a fuse and waiting to see whether it explodes into beauty or explodes in your face?