Welcome to My Living Novel

In my world, the plot is always thickening.

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?