Archive for the magic Category

jigsaw.

Posted in all i want for christmas is..., disney princesses got nothin' on me, etcetera, faith is action, i love my life, i promise you that you won't care, Life, magic, mirror mirror on the wall, superheckyes, wish i may wish i might, you have to be a chick to understand on January 7, 2009 by drbolte

i was talking to a friend the other day that i haven’t seen in AGES, and we were trying to catch up as best we could via gchat, which is harder than it may seem. she said that i seemed really happy. today, someone said that i looked like the i was sitting on top of the world.

i am happier than i have been in a long time.

but before you all go rolling your eyes and thinking that you know the reason, it’s far more complicated than that.

going home for the holidays was really good for me in lots of ways.  of course, it was WONDERFUL to see the family that i hadn’t seen in half a year. that’s the longest i’d gone before.  but before i headed home, i think i felt stuck in who i once was.  that sounds odd.  let me back up a bit.  i have talked here about how my mind couldn’t quite catch up to what my body had done. i think that was really true in many ways…like i couldn’t quite embrace who i now was.  all of the changing that i had done–the physical, i think, just serving as a symbol–hadn’t really cemented to me.

the trip home did something funny.  it was like something clicked.

or, if you will, the pieces started falling into place in the right order and at the right time.

i was talking to the BFF (do i need a new name for him? suggestions?) about this and used that metaphor for things that he was excited about, and at the moment that i did, i realized that in so many ways it was true of me as well.

when i looked in the mirror while i was at home, i saw the person that everybody kept telling me i was.

when i was faced with challenging situations, i was the person i hoped that i would be.  or in the moments that i wasn’t, i recognized it and transcended it before i made a situation worse.  in short, i abdicated my throne as the queen of passive aggressiva and just said what i wanted to say.

when i needed to be patient, i was patient–with myself and with others. when i needed faith, it was there.

so i am happy…so much happier than i have been in a long time, but much of that is the direct result of a lot of hard work that i’ve been doing on myself.  and i have to believe that the new amazing things in my life are similarly a result of who i am now…as well as who i always have been.

the pieces, which were all there before but were all wonky and out of sorts, are now all fitting together really, really well. if this makes any sense, i feel more like myself than i have in a long time.  like maybe the pieces that needed to come together were only for me–so that i could realize who i am.

weird.  odd. awesome.

in other news, partially brought on my chickbug’s recent post about the top ten reasons it sucks to have a blog, i’m wondering how much of the good stuff going on in my life you actually want to hear. i definitely don’t want to be that girl who’s like OH HAI GUESS WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO ME DON’T YOU WISH YOU WERE ME I’M SO LUUUUCCCCKKKY? because that girl is that one you want to stifle in whatever manner is available to you or stick gum in her hair or throw things at her or…well you get the picture.  but i also don’t want to be writing about boring crap and doing memes all the time because i am avoiding the things in my life that are crazy good.

so…what’s your philosophy, y’all?  you’re the readers.  and yes, this is my space and, yes, i will ultimately do what i want with it, but…i like you guys. i’d like to keep you around and keep you commenting, if at all possible.  so…share with the good doctor.

i’m listening.

Protected: …

Posted in all i want for christmas is..., faith is action, i love my life, magic, perfect brightness of hope, superheckyes, the glass is half FULL, The Single Life, you have to be a chick to understand on December 25, 2008 by drbolte

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cxx: mile markers.

Posted in c, disney princesses got nothin' on me, magic, mirror mirror on the wall, shopping, superheckyes, the glass is half FULL, you have to be a chick to understand on December 22, 2008 by drbolte

i successfully shopped the sale rack in the juniors department today.

when your grandest dream is to buy any kind of clothing in the regular sized department as a teenager, so that you can go shopping with your friends and not be limited to exclusively shoes and accessories, the juniors department is like mecca. or the holy grail.  insert the appropriate religious metaphor of your choice.

but even when you’ve gotten down to a size where you really fit into most anything in the regular section, the juniors section remains unattainable.

because, in case you didn’t know, everything that’s a “junior” size is a) smaller than standard sizes and 2) cut for people with a standard hourglass figure (or a girl with no hips, butt, or any real body parts at all)

definitely not someone with hips and a butt for ages.

so, i’ve stayed away.  today it began with a coat that i thought was really adorable.  there was a size there that i thought might fit.  and i hadn’t tried for a while and ‘what the heck do i have to lose?’ went through my head.  so i pulled the coat over my sweater and zipped it up.

and it fit.  not just fit, but looked ADORABLE.  i wasn’t pouring myself into it.  it just fit, all cute and sassy and totally me.  so i thought…well…if that size fits in that, maybe other things will?

and from there it was just one tumbling snowball rolling downhill, sweeping my money off and bringing a whole lot of awesome.

today, i did what i’ve never done.  today, i am apparently standard hourglass figure.  today, i found the holy grail.

for 70% off.

i’m really not sure it gets much better than that.

day 5 shred update: took sunday off, as i will from now on.  i can’t make myself workout on sunday when it has been, for so long, my day of rest.  so i doubled up to make up for it.  level one this morning and level two tonight.  other than feeling like i REALLY need to work on my plank position and my oblique twists, i really, really liked it. level two was harder, yeah, but almost more fun.  i’ll probably vary it up. and i don’t even feel particularly like death.  we’ll see what i feel like tomorrow…but i’m still at it.

little lessons learned.

Posted in friends, i love my life, Life, magic, me, superheckyes, will work for food on December 2, 2008 by drbolte

i have lost my appetite.  i have no idea where it went, but if it gets held up in customs on its way back to me, i don’t think i’ll mind too terribly much, especially given that the monday after thanksgiving i weighed 3+ pounds less than i did the day before it.  this is not healthy nor is it normal, but it’s awfully freaking ego-boosting.

i have the best roommates in the world.  they worry about me and it’s nice to know someone’s paying attention. that’s family right there.

one of my favorite things is getting lostish while trying to find something.  i call them adventures. i’m beginning to think that everything is better when you consider it an adventure.

it’s still REALLY cool to climb to the top of the jungle gym. it’s probably even cooler when you never did it when you were a kid because you were a giant wimp.

i’m funny.  like even when i don’t try.  probably more, actually, when i don’t try.

sand in your shoes (or in your HAIR or all over your pants) = not so much very fun.  except when it is.

i can’t really listen to optimus prime wax philosophical about freedom in transformers without laughing a little. the later it gets, though, the more the odds are that i will take it COMPLETELY SERIOUSLY and think it’s an awesome metaphor for our time.  you know, even though it’s just a big hunk of CGI metal setting up a sequel.

yes, adorable boys who come into the writing center–you may flirt with me AND get grammatical advice. thanks for doing so today and for seeming excited to see me later in the week for another appointment.  ah, heck. thanks for noticing that i’m a cute girl and not just a disembodied brain.  because i AM.  cute, that is.

sometimes, scriptural discussions end up referring to awesome songs, and then life explodes in awesomeness. thus, i present the youtube clip of the day, the song to which we referred and really a quite deep philosophical statement for our times.

or really, it’s just cool:

job update: not working at mississippi state either.

sigh.

miracles.

Posted in dissertation, faith is action, gators, i love my life, magic, shopping, someday I'll be a real middle class girl, the glass is half FULL, will work for food on October 23, 2008 by drbolte

i believe in a God of everyday miracles.

let me give you cases in point.

this week has been INSANE.  literally. i could have been driven mad by it all, let it totally throw me, let it debilitate me to the point where i couldn’t do what i needed to do. but i didn’t. i’m not saying it didn’t affect me–it did, enough to blog about it and talk to my mom about it for an hour–but then i got up, dusted myself off, and got moving again.

miracle number one.

yesterday might have been the nuttiest day of them all, what with homecoming float things that needed to be done (i promise, i’ll post pictures!) and the fact that i realized what a huge huge fat crisis my procrastination on job applications had created for me.  this job, the one that i was applying for? ABSOLUTELY PERFECT for me.  it’s way far away (just about as far away as you can get in the continental united states), but they’re looking for someone specializing in my field, who has a breadth of teaching experience including interest in/focus on writing, who also has an interest in contemporary lit/film/television.

well, hello. welcome to my schizophrenic career.

but they wanted A LOT of stuff. and they wanted applications to be COMPLETE by friday. most of the time when they give a deadline, it’s a postmark deadline. oh no. not this one.

so i prayed–oh boy did i pray–that i would be able to accomplish everything and that i would be able to let go of the float a little and let people help and that i would be able to meet all of my deadlines and that i would be able to do it well.

and even though it cost me $28 in extra shipping/overnighting costs, the application was complete and sent and will be there by 3 p.m. on friday.

of course they probably won’t even look at it until november 1st, but that’s neither here nor there. and let’s ignore the fact that i found a typo on the first page of the writing sample, one that i have missed for MONTHS now because it’s not so much a typo as a misspelling of an author’s middle name that looks normal but is actually ENTIRELY wrong.  let’s hope they skim over that like i do.

we got everything done for the float that needed to be done yesterday. today is just touch up and final touches.

i even had time to go to the grocery store.

miracles 2 through 278.

today, i am starting to work ahead through the job stuff, looking to not put myself in the position that i was yesterday, so i had to do some copying and some ink cartridge buying (good heavens, they are going to bankrupt me, i swear).  on my way back, i stopped at the bank near the mall.  and a tiny voice told me “go check out ann taylor loft.”

you may think this is a delusional voice that is born of my desire for retail therapy. no, not at all.  i don’t shop at ann taylor loft. it would never occur to me to go there, really, except that i had a conversation with law school girl about their suits.  but my plan was to buy a suit over christmas, just before my interviews, and to have mom pay for it. ah, plans.

i arrived and they were having a sale.  a big sale.

so i immediately start looking at the largest sizes they have. if you have ever had trouble buying clothes in a regular store, because you are too short or too tiny or too large or too tall, you will know what this impulse feels like. you will just sort of automatically gravitate toward the sizes that have fit in the past or styles that seem to work on you, perhaps picking up a piece or too that should be too small or too short or too whatever just for kicks because it’s insanely marked down and it would be a travesty not to at least try.

that’s what i did.  and i cried in the dressing room.

not because things didn’t fit but because, for the first time in my life that i can remember, most everything fit.  and pretty much looked good. and were in sizes that real people wear.  the pencil skirt still didn’t work–i don’t think i have the body for a pencil skirt, as much as i keep trying for it–but everything else fit.

including the most adorable hot pink jacket (it sounds so 1989 but it’s not. it’s SO adorable) with big black buttons and some pinstriped pants that were part of a suit.

i bought a suit. in a real girl size.  and i got it on ridiculous sale.

(WHY does the website say this is denim? it’s not denim! it’s charcoal grey with pinstripes! that’s not denim! what, are they TRYING to kill me?)

miracle number 6.

i have just applied for my first professor job.  i have just bought a suit to go on interviews for said professor jobs.  i have just made 40 copies of my CV.  the float is coming together, and we are finding people to ride on it and be ridiculous with us.

miracles are all around us.  and everything i seem to ask for, the things i need, are showing up for me.  i don’t understand how you can look around the world, at how we are so blessed in our time of need, and not see the hand of a loving God in that.

i see it.  i am blessed.

oh hi.

Posted in dissertation, i love my life, magic on September 1, 2008 by drbolte

it’s me.

you know, the blog owner.

just popping in.  my guest bloggers have things well in hand–great posts, y’all, seriously–but i just wanted to update you and show you something.

number one: twenty four pages to the director.  solidly positive comments on said pages.  meeting tomorrow to discuss the rest of the chapter (that’s only section one!) and the job search.  yeah.

number two: i’ve decided that sleep is the key to everything. as in if i don’t get enough, i have no capacity to do anything. at all.  seven hours is my minimum.  eight is preferable.  and yes, apparently, i am 85 years old.

number three: you know what’s better than yoga to keep your stress level down?

this:

that? underneath my hand? is little bit.  she’s a tiny kitten that we are fostering (and by we, i mean my roommate who is extraordinary with animals and loves them completely and the other two of us who really just like to hold and play with her) because she was abandoned by her mom.  she won’t be staying (SHE WON’T BE STAYING. SHE WON’T BE STAYING. i tell myself this repeatedly.) but we’ll be looking for an awesomely great home for her as soon as she’s, you know, not eating from a bottle anymore.

i was a little bit in love before she crawled up on my chest, started purring, and fell asleep.  she fits in the palm of my hand.  she’s the epitome of adorable.  you can probably see it on my face.

what you can also see on my face is that i’m tired.  it’s time for bed for this 85 year old, dissertation-writing little bitty grey kitty loving girl.

thanks for hanging in there with me.  things are pretty good.  i’ll be back in a week or so, by which time i’ll have completed this chapter.

no matter what.

she just can’t see what all the fuss is about.

Posted in blogging, faith is action, friends, Life, magic on April 9, 2008 by drbolte

brandy wrote a post a while back about what her students thought was beautiful. it, in and of itself, is a beautiful post, as are most things she writes. i posted a comment with some things i think are beautiful, and i’d like to put them here and add some more and keep the chain going with your comments. because, you know, sometimes life is just hard and you’ve got really nowhere to go with that.

and beauty makes it better.

so…what is beautiful to you?

here are a few from me:

…sincere i love yous that you can feel–-and see

…cats all curled up, paw over head, in the exact position that i would be if i could be, in the sunshine.

…waves crashing on a beach at night when all you can really see is the foam.

…when i’m brave.

…my grandma’s hands. gosh, i miss her.

…those moments when you see a man hold a door open for a woman, or take her hand to help her up the stairs or out of a car, and you feel like you’ve intruded on something so intimate and sweet that you feel privileged to have witnessed it.

…uninhibited laughter from girls who believe in themselves, even if just for that moment.

…the Orlando temple at night, all lit up. i don’t think i’ve ever had a building take my breath away like that.

…when words fail you and you find another language in which to mourn.

perplexing.

Posted in disney princesses got nothin' on me, etcetera, faith is action, family, magic, my amazing mother, perfect brightness of hope, someday I'll be a real middle class girl, the joys of living in Florida, wish i may wish i might on February 29, 2008 by drbolte

things i don’t understand:

–the appeal of twizzlers when i’m under stress.

–why i still eat papa john’s pizza. it’s so gross.  and by gross, i mean i can’t quite ignore how disgustingly bad it is for me as i’m eating it and i feel awful after i do.

–how a grad student with two kids can afford prada anything.   am i missing something?  some fountain of money that is available to the intelligent?

–why i am suddenly really worried about wrinkles and how old i’m looking.  am i looking older?  is it my imagination? is that even a BAD thing?

–how people can be so utterly and completely wonderful to complete and total strangers like they were today to me and my mom.

–why i seem to be more tired than mom does today, and she’s the one who had surgery. i’m thrashed.

–why i even still think about/secretly wish for/anticipate the things that i do, even when i pray for them not to happen because i know it’s best for my sanity that they don’t.  it must be a sign of my stressed-out mental state.

–how these past few weeks have completely crawled and yet flown at the same time.

–what i will do to earn $2200 by october for the 3 day. i don’t even really have any idea how to start. if i could raise that much money, wouldn’t i NOT be in debt?

–my crazy indecipherable life with its astoundingly engaging and hilarious cast of characters.

aftermath.

Posted in disney princesses got nothin' on me, drama drama drama, faith is action, family, friends, magic, my amazing mother, perfect brightness of hope, you have to be a chick to understand on February 23, 2008 by drbolte

well, i guess it’s good that all this news came on a week when i was PMSing already, huh? hey everybody! you get double the mood swings, but for half the time.

i’d take it if i were them. seems like a deal.

it’s strange how you don’t even really realize what’s going on with you until you realize that the stupid things are sending you over the edge.

you yell at your roommate for wanting to wear a belt to blockbuster. i know. don’t ask.

you nearly cry when you realize that your roommate’s dog peed in your laundry hamper. it wasn’t the end of the world. it was contained and it all came out. wash it twice. it’s all fine. but still? a few waterworks.

you fret deeply about whether or not someone who should be of no consequence whatsoever, with whom you have a rather rocky past and who you really don’t trust/shouldn’t interact with anyways, is mad at you for making the right decision for yourself that might have possibly brought some inconvenience/disappointment to him.

i’ve decided that my filter is off. you know the filter. the one that allows you to think before you speak, to make those split second judgments of “wow, that would be a terribly mean thing to say” or “i should really be kind to her…she’s had a long, long day”. the ones that keep you in civilized society and out of the whole “socially awkward” realm of existence.

it’ll come back.

in the meantime, i’m thinking that staying away from people is probably best for a while. chillin’ in my room. doing some laundry. grading some papers. watching some dvds on the computer. maybe getting some reading done too.

i feel like a baby a little bit. it’s not like it’s happening to ME. it’s not like i’m sick or having to have surgery or having to do radiation or anything like that. it’s not like i’m even that scared, really. i’m not. i mean, i am scared for the road that mom has to travel, but not where that road will end up. i don’t know if that makes any sense.

i don’t really think I make any sense right now anyways, so perhaps i’ll leave you with the following things that have brought me great joy in the past few days:

  • the movie martian child with john cusack. i’m already a cusack family fan, but this movie is seriously splendid.
  • how much i actually DIDN’T hate becoming jane, even though their factual footing was seriously flawed. i didn’t spend the whole time, jane austen scholar that i am, yelling at the screen. anne hathaway was lovely. james mcavoy was beautiful. it was gorgeous.
  • the multiflavored twizzlers? with the different colors? YUM. and you don’t feel guilty about eating twizzlers like you do about eating chocolate, so it’s double the pleasure, double the fun!
  • talking to a friend for ages and ages over IM about our mutual idiosyncratic psychoses. it’s been good times. she helped me write the email telling my best friend about mom. i didn’t want it to be all “woe is me…worry! worry! worry! even though you’re 10,000 miles away and can’t do anything or even call me to check up on me, please freak out and get distracted from what you’re there to do” so…she was my editor. she has kept me a little more (read: a lot more) sane than i would normally have been. she’s amazing.
  • my AMAZING idea to make little envelopes for every single day during mom’s radiation that she can open before or after she goes. it’ll be like an advent calendar…but with no ornaments and instead little quotes or sayings or comic strips. it’ll be good. i’ve been having some luck with finding scriptures, but if you have any good quotes or funny things that you think might be good, let me know!
  • my faith. i would be moorless and anchorless without it. i know where i come from, where i’m going, and who’s on my team. i know the power of prayer, the power of fasting, the power of hope. i know Heavenly Father is on my team always, so i’m happy to know that i can call on Him anytime.
  • that my students are just the coolest in the entire world. when i am crazy in class, they just roll with it. i am completely myself and they seem to really enjoy it. and i get such a rush from standing up there and realizing that i sound really, really smart–and i’m not even trying to. YAY for my dream job. YAY for looking forward to everything related to that experience. YAY for realizing that i will, in fact, rock at my career.

well, i’m off to put some semblance of order into my disordered universe. meaning, i’m going to try to clean. we’ll see how well THAT turns out.

thanks for the prayers. thanks to you who read (so many of you who I don’t know) who have sent up a good thought for my mom. it’s a kindness that i can never repay, but please know that i am grateful and that they matter to my family. probably much more than you even know. many more thanks to those of you who live in my real world who have been amazing to me with your offers of help and your support–you know who you are–and who have helped me remember that i should just be myself (NOT the crazy pink ribbon queen!) and deal with it the best way that i know how and who help me by just being you.

it helps more than you know, even when you don’t say anything at all. really.

everyday magic

Posted in disney princesses got nothin' on me, i love my life, magic, perfect brightness of hope on February 15, 2008 by drbolte

talking to a friend of mine today.  well, perhaps an acquaintance who once was a friend? maybe a friend. i don’t know.  i am having trouble distinguishing between what makes a friend and what doesn’t. i feel like we use that term far too flippantly…and therefore it doesn’t have as much weight as it should with the people who really rise up to truly define the term.

we were talking about expectations, about being happy.  and this is what i said:

amazing isn’t a state of being. amazing is a state of mind. and moments of incredible wonder are just that…moments. most of life is the everyday kind of magic that we often forget to look for. it’s all about figuring out how to find them.

i really believe that.  i don’t believe that life has to be mundane, boring, or meh.  i do believe that most of life requires hard work, and the ones that don’t recognize that are the ones that truly miss out on the amazing possibilities that only come when you put in the sweat equity.  how can you really understand the triumph that comes from seeing a job well done if you don’t, well, do it?  plus, people who whine about having to work hard at life bug me a little.

since when was it supposed to be easy? when did God ever say “oh, yeah, i’m going to give you everything on a silver platter. here you go. understand the mysteries. make sense of the cosmos. completely get my entire plan as a mere mortal with a temporal, finite mind.  go ahead.  sure. you’re ready.”

pfft.  please. i don’t really even understand geometry. i don’t want to understand the mysteries of God thankyouverymuch.

anyways…i realized that i really believe that every day is full of magic.  FULL of it.

let me share with you some of the magic of today.

–despite the fact that i should be really scared about the biopsy, i am not. i have peace. i know that people are praying. i am fasting for her.  i know that she will feel the weight and peace of those prayers.  i know that, whatever happens, we will have strength enough to do whatever we need to do.  it’s going to be okay.

–my best friend, half a world (well, actually, more than half a world) away is fasting with me.  right now.  i can’t tell you what that means to me–and to mom.  it’s an extraordinary gift to have someone in your life who knows you inside and out–all your flaws and stupid foibles and idiotic traits and your strengths and all of the ways that you are amazing and magical without even knowing it–and still thinks you’re pretty darn incredible.

–i am ridiculously enjoying bleak house, which is this tome of a novel that i assigned my students.  i’d read it before, but i forget how much i love something until i immerse myself in it once more.

–valentine’s day was actually quite fun. no bitter at ALL.  just love–for lots of people–and a reminder to myself of what i really want and what’s most important. and i got chocolate. lots and lots of dove dark chocolate, which makes my heart sing.  being ridiculously adorable pays off. 🙂

–my jeans are looser.  that, friends, is magic right there.

–last night, i found ingrid michaelson lyrics.  and i’m in love with her.  i LOVE the song as i am, but the rest of her lyrics are extraordinary.

–i am just surrounded by blessings. on my right side and on my left, in front of me and behind me.  people who answer my prayers. people who let me answer theirs. people who strive every day to do what’s right. people who make me laugh ridiculously over something really really stupid.  people who prove to me that people are at their core genuinely good.  people who let me trust them and never break that trust.

everyday magic. that’s what it’s about.  when we see it, we can’t help but be happy that we are here.  that we chose to be here.  it makes all of the difficulties of the days and weeks and months drift away, somehow. when we’re looking for it, we can’t help but be hopeful.  it’s impossible.