Thursday, May 23, 2013

When I just got started loving you.

In October of 2007, I was a freshman in college. I had just moved to Nebraska all by myself. I was in the Navy, in a new school, in a new state, making new friends, experiencing new things. Everything was so up in the air, and I loved the mystery of everything, I felt alive.

One evening in October, I was in Abel Hall at the University of Nebraska. I was on the 11th floor, visiting some of my new friends. They had started a prank war with some of the boys down the hallway and were telling me all the details of their next idea. We stepped out into the hallway for some unremembered reason, and saw that the door to these boys' dorm room was open. Every door had a dry erase white board on it, and from down the hall, we could see that there was the outline of an owl drawn on their board. This owl, The Chancellor, would come to be the key to many friendships, and the reason for way too many late night shenanigans, but that is a whole different story.

On this particular night, my two friends dared me to go down the hall and color in the owl. 
This may sound dumb, but I was 17. 
This may sound unimportant, 
but it was going to be the day I met the boy who I would spend the next 5 and a half years loving.

The two of us sitting in that very dorm room.

I remember walking calmly down the hallway with a couple of markers, walking up to their open door, and just beginning to color in the owl. L and his roommate were in there just sitting at their respective desks. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see him look up at me, then look over at his roommate. The roommate then noticed me as well and asked me what the hell I thought I was doing. So I smiled and told him that I was making his door more approachable, knowing full well that that was not an answer that would satisfy these two boys. 

It was then that I looked over at L and finally noticed him. He was tall, handsome, broad shouldered, blue eyed. His confused expression was adorable, and his eyes were so smart. 

The three of us introduced ourselves to each other, and it was the beginning of a wonderful friendship between me and his roommate, and the start of the most meaningful relationship I have ever had, with the most beautiful person I have ever known.

The three of us as tiny babies, back in 2007.

As of May 2013, L and I have gone our separate ways. It didn't end badly, and we are trying desperately to stay friends. But that doesn't mean that it is easy for either one of us. 

I never want to forget any of it, and I certainly don't want to forget where it all began.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Not the absence of fear

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something is more important than one's fear."    - Ambrose Redmoon

The first time I heard this quote I read it in a book written about the life of a retired police chief. The rest of the book was truly not noteworthy, but this quote has stuck with me ever since. This quote is everything that I want to be, everything that I want to do. I want to be the kind of person who can look fear right in the beady, fiery eyes and say no, I will be stronger.

Something that I love about this quote is that the author is such a nobody. Ambrose Redmoon is a pseudonym, yes, but even his real name is rarely recognized. James Neil Hollingsworth was a beatnik in the 50's and 60's. He was a fantastic writer who loved life, and oh yea, he was a paraplegic. One of the most quoted statements of the last decade about courage was written by a man in a wheelchair. That's more than just a little bit sobering to me. 

I know I'm vague about my job and career aspirations, but let's just say generally they are in law enforcement. The job that I work now, the one I started in January, is in this field. To say that I was scared on my first day would be the understatement of my life so far. I was petrified... but I wanted it so badly. So I dug down deep and I hid that fear. I showed up and I gave it my all, and with that courage I impressed people. I lived the quote that I had loved so many years ago.

Every day since that first day, I still try to go into work and live this quote. Admittedly it is easier in a regimented work day than in the rest of my life, but that is why now that I am becoming more comfortable in my new job, I am now trying to apply it to everything I do.

Professionally, I am still trying to do things that scare me every day. I put myself in situations that are still a little bit scary every single day, and they make me grow. They make me more courageous. I have an amazing group of people behind me to support and protect me if something does go wrong, but I just brace myself and try to handle things on my own. I show no fear. I'm rocking this one, honestly.

Personally though? How do you live courageously personally? Well, you could try adventure sports for one, but where I live that really isn't a choice. So I have decided to just say yes. Someone invites me somewhere? The answer is yes. Someone asks if I want to try something new? The answer is yes. This simple philosophy has already made my life so much richer, and I have only been doing it for the last month.

It's something worth thinking about, and in my opinion, something worth trying out. You will never know what you could be until you look that fear right in the face... and overcome it.

From "No Peaceful Warriors!" (1991) by Ambrose Redmoon:
"As a real, live, initiated, trained, experienced, traditional, hereditary warrior with thirty-seven body scars and a trophy or two on my belt, I find such expressions as "peaceful warrior" offensive, trivializing, and insulting. "Peaceful warrior" is far more than a contradiction in terms. The function of a warrior is to eliminate an exterior enemy presence . . Cowardice is a serious vice. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than one's fear. The timid presume it is lack of fear that allows the brave to act when the timid do not. But to take action when one is not afraid is easy. To refrain when afraid is also easy. To take action regardless of fear is brave."

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Snow on May Day

Happy May Day!

Today is is a gray and gloomy day here in Nebraska. It is chilly and raining, and the forecast is calling for that rain to turn into snow when the sun goes down. 

And I love it. 

I know that May is supposed to be a month full of sunshine and flowers, and maybe even heading out to the beach and letting your skin see the world for the first time this year.  It is supposed to be the month children start to get out of school and begin their summer adventures. But to me, the longer we can hold on to the chilly weather, the rain, the snow, the lack of sweating constantly, the better this year is.

I know, I know, I'm in the vast minority. I will make no friends saying that I am excited about the snow in May. But I'm ok with that, because I love the snow that much!

When I was a little girl, this weather on this particular day might have bummed me out quite a bit more than it does today. Back then May Day was one of my favorite days to spend with my dad. We would bake tons of cookies, or make rice krispy treats covered in chocolate, and package them all up with bows on top and distribute them to our neighbors. I remember running down the streets, across people's yards, clutching those little packages, always so excited. It was always something that I looked forward to doing with him, whether he knew it or not. Looking back on those memories really makes me miss having him around all the time. 

So with this lovely May Day off work, I think I'm going to go make some hot chocolate, call my dad, and wait for the snow to begin <3

New car and doubting Dennis Haysbert.

I have been a terrible blogger. There are no excuses. I'm such a bad blogger that I haven't even posted the posts that I already had written. This one is from freaking January 22nd. Whooooops.

I finally have a new car!

It is a cute little Chevy Malibu, and although I was a loyal Toyota owner before this, I really like the little guy.

Gone are the days of car sharing with the boyfriend. We spent a loooot of 2012 sharing a car. We shared my old car for the first part of the year, and then this fall and winter we shared his car.

Why did we have to share cars so much, you ask?

What happened to his car?

 What happened to my car?

Well, people in Lincoln, Nebraska apparently decided that they just really enjoyed running their vehicles right into our precious little cars.

Back in August of last year, Allstate Insurance published a study they had done showing which cities had the safest drivers. It said that Lincoln, Nebraska was the fifth safest driving city in the country. They even had the  nerve to say that most people had an average of 12.4 years between car accidents here.

Well, if that is freaking true, then I should never be in or see another accident in my whole entire life.

One day last winter, boyfriend and I were just sitting in my apartment, minding our own business, when there was a knock at the door. We opened the door to find a girl who lived in the apartment building next to mine just bawling her eyes out. She couldn't talk through the tears, so she just pointed out to the street, where boyfriend's car had been parallel parked along the curb.

We peeked out and were greeted by this...

She apparently was moving out and was trying to back the Uhaul truck out of the driveway. She instead backed it right into his car.

There's the culprit herself. She was really, really sorry, and we were very nice to her.

This is the angle the car was left at once we finally got the truck off of it. 

So that was the death of car number one.

Then, this summer there was construction along 27th Street, which is a major north south route in the city. This construction caused multiple accidents every single day for four months. You could not drive on 27th Street without seeing an accident for the entire summer.

And I got to be one of the lucky participants of the accidents!

I was just driving south, minding my own business again, when traffic started to slow. I stopped behind a truck and glanced in my rear view mirror. I saw a boy coming up very quickly behind me, and it looked like his head was down. He wasn't even paying attention. And he never even hit his brakes.

So he ran right into my poor little car with all the force of the 45 mile an hour speed limit. 

This pushed my car right underneath the truck in front of me.

I was so thankful that I was wearing my seat belt, because it could have been a whole different story if I wasn't strapped in that day.

These were the two accidents that boyfriend and I were involved in in 2012. Also, since moving to Lincoln, I have been in a car that has been rear ended two more times. AND I was rear ended in boyfriend's car in 2011. 

That isn't even counting the million accidents that heads up driving has saved either of us from. 

Driving in downtown Lincoln is kind of like playing bumper cars, and you are the only one who does not particularly want to bump cars.

So in conclusion, Allstate either lies or has been grossly misinformed. I have begun to doubt how safe those hands really are, Dennis Haysbert.