Archive for April, 2007

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.

welcome to florida

Posted in Life on April 5, 2007 by drbolte

 i spent all day yesterday here…which is one of the reasons why i am beginning to love florida.

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90% concentrated power of will

Posted in gators, School on April 2, 2007 by drbolte

you’d think that i was playing the game.

or that, somehow, jitters had been transmitted via Gainesville water supply.

it’s game night.

the last game of the 2007 NCAA basketball tournament. the end of march madness. the day of glory for someone.

and in gainesville, we’re all sure it will be gator glory.

but it makes me a little nervous, i’m not going to lie. oh, i believe we’ll win. but i also believe it’s never good for us to be the favorite. we tend to get a little bit…complacent. and with ohio state, complacency equals opportunity.

so i hope that billy donovan and his gators haven’t been watching espn like i have, or checking out si.com. i hope that they don’t know that they are roundly considered the favorites to repeat, like the blue devils most recently before them. i hope that they are worried about oden and conley and the rest of the buckeye team. they should be.

and i really, really want them to win.

i want to be on university avenue amid the madness. i want to be a part of the celebration i was too anti-social to enjoy last year. i want a second chance to take part.

wow.

does this mean i’m really a gator now?

i guess when i decided that i really wanted a shirt that said “on the 8th day God turned the desert into a swamp” that fact was decided.

i’m darn close to bleeding orange and blue.

it brings me pride to sing “it’s great to be a florida gator”–and i really believe that it’s true.

i will pretty much lose my mind if i don’t get football lottery tickets this year.

i am a gator.

when did THAT happen?!?

come what may, i am a gator. and i proudly say so. i’ve even got my mom saying “go gators!” to the UF grads who come through her office on tours. i am ever so proud.

may it be a glorious night.

and may i not have elevated blood pressure in the process.

living in gainesville really is charmed right now. i’m beginning to believe that anything can happen in this magical place at this magical time.

dreams come true here.

and i’m a part of it. extraordinary.

that’s it. ohio state is gator bait.

hey, if it rhymes, it must be true, right?

GO GATORS!

note the date

Posted in Life on April 1, 2007 by drbolte

today at the concert, i met a boy.

he’s dreamy.  he wears cowboy hats. he likes me. we talked forever while we waited for funnel cakes, and it was like electricity.

i can’t explain it.  it’s amazing, though, and i’m ever so happy.

who would have thought that i’d meet the guy of my dreams at an all-day country concert?

oh, and if you’re buying this, you don’t follow directions very well (read the title again).

and if you’re still thinking i’m serious, i have some oceanfront property in arizona to sell you. that and a few bridges and some swampland.

happy april fools day, everyone!

(and if you have facebook, and it’s still april 1st, you should check out your news feed. somebody has a sense of humor. i like it.)