Archive for April, 2007

a note to the kentucky board of tourism

Posted in Life on April 13, 2007 by drbolte

lexington sucks.

i don’t mean any harm–i’m sure that you intended it to be hip and urban with an accessible suburban vibe.  i’m sure that you thought that by painting downtown walls with vibrant murals and by putting sort-of cool sort-of vegetarian restaurants downtown that all would be wooed.

i’m not.

it’s april 13th, and it feels like winter.  there’s nowhere to park.  walking anywhere requires bundling that i haven’t had to do since christmas in north carolina, and i am pretty sure that your wind scarred my larynx.

i’m tired, i’m headachy, this hotel downtown that you advertise as the best is pretty much a craphole (and i’m pretty sure i’m allergic to it), and i want to go home.

and if i get sick from this, i will NOT be pleased.

i’m SO tired, and i have to present in less than an hour. my hair’s not done, because we had to go eat and housekeeping is still not finished with our room.  my makeup’s not done either. so, basically, i look like crap.  all i want to do is go to sleep or go home, but since i flew, the latter’s not an option.  despite spending $70 to be here, i care not if i attend one session other than my own. cheesy, yes. do i care? not really. 

i’m done, is the basic message here, and i’ve been here less than 24 hours.

sigh.

where’s my bed?

thoughtful interjections

Posted in friends, Life, The Single Life on April 10, 2007 by drbolte

a couple of statements have been rattling around my head for a little while, and in an effort to get them out of my head, i put them here. i hope you will tell me what you think of them. i’m not sure what i think.

i was watching the movie the perfect man. as the daughter of a single mother, it made me happy. it was a hilary duff movie–it wasn’t oscar worthy. but it was cute, and one line made me stop and really think because it’s exactly what i believe and what i’m looking for: love is friendship on fire.

is this really true? being the novice that i am–or that i think i am, for i sometimes believe that i have loved far more than i think i have–i wonder. we’re fed so much the hollywood formula of being swept off of our feet. this idea of friendship on fire seems so much better, so much more like what will really work.

the second idea came as i was talking to a friend about being second choice. i have always worried about being second choice, being the fallback girl. this insecurity reared its ugly head lately with a particular situation, and i was telling him that i didn’t like that idea and didn’t want to compete. life’s too short to compete–or so i said.

his response? “you might be second choice now, but you could become first choice.”

i’d never thought of this. seems ridiculous, right? i guess i always assumed that if i was second choice at first, i would always be second choice. it never occurred to me that being me might persuade someone to forget someone else, to choose me. i’m not fishing–just serious. it honestly never occurred to me. and now i wonder if that’s true.

can being second choice at first be a good thing? can being the dark horse work? or would you always wonder if the person wished it had worked out with the first person? that’s what i worry about…always being compared. couldn’t handle that.

and somewhat connected to that, i read in alma 5 tonight “will ye persist in supposing that ye are better one than another [?]” and, in my mind, i wondered if the reverse was true.  is it as bad to continue to believe that you are less than another, consistently and as your first instinct, as it is to stubbornly hold on to the belief that you are better?

and how do you begin to believe that you’re not any less than anyone else? i say connected, because this, i think, is at the heart of my fear of being second choice.  as if, somehow, i’m just not good enough to be first.

so…tell me what you think. my muddled mind offers little analysis.

deja vu

Posted in friends, Life on April 9, 2007 by drbolte

i miss my best friend something fierce.

it feels like it’s been forever already, and it hasn’t even been six months.  there’s a long time left.  i did the math.  it’s like 600 days.  84 weeks or something ridiculous like that.

sigh.

i’ve already done this whole thing.  it was hard enough the first time, and they weren’t my best friends.

sometimes i wonder why i have to keep giving things up in life, even if it’s for a relatively short time.  i don’t like it.

this sucks.

the end.

convicted by prose

Posted in blogging, friends, Life, School on April 9, 2007 by drbolte

i am reading virginia woolf’s to the lighthouse again, because i assigned it to my students. i chose it purely based on the rather rapturous memories i have of my first experience with it. i remember being enthralled, nearly swept away, by the majesty of the language and how amazing the stream of consciousness narrative made sense to me when i didn’t expect it to.

imagine my rather happy realization that i still love it–probably more so now that i am older, perhaps wiser, and more able to understand the underlying methods in woolf’s seeming madness. also imagine my surprise when i came to a passage that directly addressed some of the lingering thoughts i didn’t address at all in last night’s musing about friendships:

that was what she minded, coming as it did on top of her discontent with her husband; the sense she had now when mr. carmichael shuffled past, just nodding to her question, with a book beneath his arm, in his yellow slippers, that she was suspected; and that all this desire of hers to give, to help, was vanity. for her own self-satisfaction was it that she wished so instinctively to help, to give, that people might say of her, ‘o mrs. ramsay! dear mrs. ramsay. . . mrs. ramsay, of course!’ and need her and send for her and admire her? was it not secretly this that she wanted, and therefore when mr. carmichael shrank back from her, as he did at this moment, making off to some corner where he did acrostics endlessly, she did not feel merely snubbed back in her instinct, but made aware of the pettiness of some part of her, and of human relations, how flawed they are, how despicable, how self-seeking, at their best.

hmm. true enough.

i like the attention. i get that. as i left the blog last night (this morning, i guess, really), having articulated some of what i wanted to say, i felt as if i had left something out, that i had been unfair.

needed to give more of the benefit of the doubt, i suppose, because despite what might seem like frustration, i am not angry nor am i bitter. just thoughtful and a little disappointed and i wanted to find a way to articulate that in my own space.

but i think the brilliant virginia woolf has done it for me. the reality is, i am a flawed, selfish being, who as much wants to be acknowledged and appreciated as anyone else. i guess that’s really what had spurred my musing–that idea of acknowledgment which, at its heart, is selfish.

perhaps it is all vanity. were i really the kind of person that i want to someday be, i wouldn’t care. i would happily serve in whatever capacity i could without thought for myself.

but i’m not there yet. not by any stretch.

in other news, news that is directly related to the title of this post, i am now afraid to write certain things on here because i know people are reading. not just random strangers, but people i know. and i realize that people that i don’t know are reading ARE reading. and i worry that these people will think that i’m talking about them (when so often i am not) and that will cause more conflict than already exists in my life.

i am worried now that my words will come back to haunt me. in some ways, i think they already have.

but i rebel against that feeling, because this is my place. this is where i vent. where i play with ideas. where i write without punctuation or grammatical strictures because, darn it, i can. it’s my place of no consequence, where the illusion of anonymity suits me well.

so, keep reading. but trust me on this.

if i have a problem with you, you’ll know it.

i have a terrible poker face.

bandwagon’s full–please catch another

Posted in friends, Life on April 9, 2007 by drbolte

not sure why i seem to attract a slew of people who are interested in having one-sided friendships, but i do. a series of similar situations has made this a topic of interest to me.

let me preface this by saying that the vast majority of my friends are friends indeed. they give as much as they get, and i am blessed to have them in my life. and this also has nothing whatsoever to do with my calling–totally separate.

but, see, i keep managing to attract the people who want to pick my brain, the ones who seem to think that i am the perpetual wisdom ATM that never runs out of funds. i’ve done it all my life–where i get to be the one with the perspective, the one that never needs anybody, the one that saves the world.

i’m pretty much done with it.

i’ve done my share of seeking, so i’m not saying it’s wrong or even bad to need someone’s advice or to reach out. in fact, in my “i’m fine no matter what” world, i ought to do more of it. i play the superwoman far too often.

maybe what i wish is that these kinds of friendships would come with a label. like some would be labeled as dairy products–perishable, not likely to last long, could go bad at any moment. others would be chinese takeout–great at the moment, but leaving you wanting more–or hamburger helper–where you have to add something good to get something mediocre. still others would be kool-aid–one person adds 95% of the ingredients, and the other one adds some color and flavor.

if i could see the label coming at me, when the friendship began or as it evolved, i wouldn’t be so surprised or disappointed by it. because, honestly, i always am. i’m surprised when people don’t seem to be as interested in my life as i am expected to be in theirs. or when i am dismissed. wow, do i hate that. i know you all hear me on this–there is NOTHING more infuriating than being dismissed by someone who is supposedly a friend. it’s just irritating on the deepest, most basic level–because it is thoughtlessness at its most fundamental.

i expect my friends to be my friends. i don’t think that’s an unreasonable expectation.

but then again, i am a freaking awesome friend. i am fiercely loyal. maybe other people don’t know how to do that. or maybe they really think that they are being a good friend.

i don’t know.

but i have people in my life who do, for me, precisely what george eliot describes: “oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”

there is no label for friends like these. there are no words to describe this feeling any better–and i have it. i am so blessed.

perhaps the comparison between the two is what throws into sharp relief the emptiness of the other. perhaps i should look at these relationships as doing service, but i don’t think service can be defined as friendship. perhaps we throw that term “friend” around a lot when it’s not really what we mean. can i really say that i am friends with a person that i know doesn’t have my back, when i also call the person who knows me pretty much inside and out and would have my back in any situation my friend?

i don’t think they’re even in the same category.

and the irony of all of this musing is that i don’t think i will ever stop attracting these people–the good advice givers always manage to find them–nor, even if they had labels, would i turn them away. i would still give advice. i WILL still give advice. i will still be around. i’ll still play lifeguard in the drama pool’s deep end to try to help others navigate their way through it. it’s what i do, almost happily, because if i can help i feel of use.

i guess i just ought to stop being surprised when conversations are one-sided and when it’s not ME that they’re interested in but my role as an awesome soundingboard.

that would be nice. to not be surprised.

but i wonder what i would give up in the process.  would i become that cynical person that i hate so much, the one who’s always wondering what the person wants rather than who the person is?  will i become the hard outer shell carrie, the one that i have fought so hard to soften, again?  the one who doesn’t let anybody in because she’s sure they’ll disappoint and it’s not worth the effort?

seems like that’s not worth the trade.

so, the wisdom ATM is stocked, i suppose, and ready for business.

sigh.

distance is nothing to a dreamer

Posted in friends, Life on April 7, 2007 by drbolte

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i love this cartoon–i love it so much. it makes perfect sense to me, and it speaks to my soul. i often dream about the people i love, the people i’m thinking about. i had never thought of it in quite this way before.

i have been missing people lately. i have been missing my best friend especially, but also my family. i guess it’s been the whole exam process. i was a basketcase there at the end, freaking out and feeling like i was never going to get through it. and don’t get me wrong–my friends here were A-MAZING. completely and totally had my back, in ways that i didn’t even expect. i had so many prayers, so much encouragement–they were my substitute family, and i will be forever grateful. and then i got to celebrate with good friends, and i’m sure that i will celebrate hugely when i go home for a brief stint in may.

but there’s something about the people that really get you, you know? on the day of my exam, before i went in there, all i really wanted was a big hug from my mom and a big hug from my best friend, because those were the things that i knew would carry me through.

instead, i got the peace of the spirit from my heavenly father, and the knowledge that the people that loved me most were really pulling for me from wherever they were.

it was an awesome alternative to what i thought i wanted, and probably better in the long run.

i’ve been a little bit down lately, a little bit at a loss. i suppose it makes sense, given the stress and mayhem of these past few months. but, still, i am not quite sure where to go from here–with my dissertation proposal, with my calling in the relief society, with anything. i feel very much like, rather than taking big bounding steps into the unknown like i was earlier, i am taking thoughtful and perhaps timid steps instead. i’m not sure that’s bad. i think it might be good, because i am trying to do the things that i know i am supposed to do.

it’s working pretty well so far. i need to remember to have some confidence in myself, though. that’s what makes the difference. i forget that sometimes.

welcome to titletown, suckas!

Posted in gators, Life, School on April 6, 2007 by drbolte

we won. oh yeah, we did.

<><> and we went down to university avenue and partied it up with the drunken masses. WE weren’t drunk, which is possibly why we didn’t find standing around smashed like a sardine quite as invigorating as others did, but it was still fun. here’s a pic from the madness:<>
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it was fun.  and then wednesday we went to the beach.

and now i’m freaking exhausted. i can’t manage to muster any real energy for anything.  i’m sure it’s a result of eating more sugar than most third-world countries import in a year in the last two weeks (veronica’s banana bars should be BANNED!), but i’m tired.  so tired.  i’m sunburned–that’s probably part of it–but i think the weight of what i’ve been going through the last few months–the sheer insanity of it all–has finally hit me.

the adrenaline has definitely worn off. i’m just trying to put one foot in front of the other, take my vitamin c, and get stuff done.  i’m grateful for a quiet easter that’s coming up. mot people are gone, so a few of us will play some games and then on sunday i’ll likely nap like it’s going out of style.

but before that?

i party!  it’s the gator pep rally tonight. maybe i can muster some “IT’S GREAT TO BE A FLORIDA GATOR!” energy for that. i’m sure i can.

and, the title? i really want a shirt that says that.  3 titles in 2 years?they should change the “welcome to gainesville” sign to “welcome to titletown, suckas.  if you’ve come to play, prepare to lose.”

it rocks to live here.