Monday, November 30, 2009

My Good Year

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've written anything. The past few weeks have been so hectic with school. I turned in a 30 page paper two weeks ago, last week was Thanksgiving of course, and now I have just two weeks left to write two more papers. Busy, busy, busy. And none of it is good. Every semester has been hard, but this one...I don't know what's been so unbearable but it just feels worse. Soon, it will be over, and I'm already taking study breaks to peruse Amazon for fun books to read on the break. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel whether we can see it or not.

The past year has been such a whirlwind. I can't believe it's gone by so fast. The first anniversary of my sweet grandfather's passing came and went. My perfect boyfriend and I celebrated our first anniversary a couple weeks ago with a trip to Baltimore. And next spring will be my last semester taking classes...forever. So much has happened in such a short amount of time.

I am going to marry this man.

What an odd realization. It's not a new one. I've known for several months, and he's known since our very first date. He called his brother on his way home that night. He flew up to Knoxville for lunch after we'd had only a few dates because he flies for free and he missed me. That was last Christmas. Hard to believe it was a year ago.

He's everything I ever dreamed of, everything I ever hoped for and all I ever wanted that I never truly believed existed. Everyone always told me I was waiting for someone too perfect to be real, that my standards were too high and unreasonable, that I wasn't grounded in reality. After awhile, I could see they might be right. I started imagining my life alone, on my own, and really didn't mind the changed future I saw for myself.

The thing is that I've had a lot of heartache in my little life. I've had more struggles than most people I know that are my age. I've never complained. I had a rough childhood in many ways, but really, I had so much love that I made it through things many don't. I got sick ten years ago and learned I may never be well again, but I had so much love in my life that I could see it outweighed anything bad. Love has always saved me, love has always made the difference. So of course lasting romantic love would find me. It didn't need me to believe in it to come.

He's kind. He's thoughtful. And he's so good. He's such a good person I always say he's the best person I know. He's a hard worker, so committed to his friends and family, sweet and funny and such fun to be around. He makes me omelets for breakfast. He takes out the trash without ever being asked. He misses me when we're apart for even a day. He tells me I'm beautiful several times a day. In the morning when we wake up, he tells me he loves me and says, "Good morning, beautiful." He supports me tirelessly, always encouraging, always believes in me and sees more in me than I often see myself. He would do anything for me.

I love being with him. I feel safe, I feel loved, I feel happy and joyful and like I'm breathing for the very first time. Weights are lifted. I can do anything. And I just want to be near him all the time. Very different feelings for someone who always cherished alone time and never let any guy get too close. It was an adjustment, but one that feels natural now.

I often wonder how I got so lucky. It felt too good to be true for so long, but now, I just thank God and pray we can spend long, healthy lives together. It's funny. In other relationships, I've worried about what life will be like "when" we break up (because until now there was no "if"), I've worried that he'll leave me for someone else, that he'll stop loving me, that I'll stop loving him. But with my guy now, the only worry I have is that one of us will die before we're 100.

I don't know when, but I know I will marry this man. This is the love I spent my whole life wishing for. And it's better than I ever imagined it would be. A lot can happen in a year. I can't wait to see what the next one holds.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Say Whaaaat?

"Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," Kate Moss tells Women's Wear Daily in a new interview.

Way to advocate eating disorders. For girls that already want to look like Kate Moss, or any supermodel, now she's telling us how. Our society is fucked up.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The F Word.

I'm a feminist. GASP!

It's such a scary word, isn't it? But if you sit down to think about what being a feminist means, even if you can't use the word, chances are that you'll find you can check every item on the list.

Feminism gave us the most basic civil rights we take for granted now but which were once revolutionary and ludicrous. Feminism gave us the right to vote, and in this country, women were literally beaten and sent to jail for protesting for that right. Feminism gave women the right to divorce their husbands and to own property - not too long ago, women were the property. When a male head of the household died, the money passed along to the next male relative and often women were left with nothing. The property laws changed because there were so many homeless widows it became annoying.

Feminism also gave us recent rights. Feminism gave us maternity leave. Feminism gave us equal pay for equal work. Feminism promotes good self-esteem for girls and raises awareness about eating disorders and body image issues. Feminism points out that women don't look like models airbrushed in magazines and that the media fuels unrealistic expectations of beauty and that's not okay. It provided laws and protection against domestic violence, rape and genital mutilation. Feminism is why we have domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers. Feminism said "No means no."

This week, I got to meet two of the most outstanding, most renowned feminists. And got to hear them speak! Susan Faludi, who famously wrote a book called Backlash about the media's backlash against feminism. And Gloria Fucking Steinem, who famously did, well, everything. I had the honor of meeting her tonight. I was in utter awe and giddy like a teenage girl meeting that Twilight dude with the hair.

I gushed to my boyfriend about it, about how amazed and excited I was to see them both. Then I said that after finally meeting Gloria Steinem, I didn't know what other amazing feminist I had left to meet. I said that sadly most of them are dead. And then he said, "You can be the next one." I love my boyfriend. He is perfect.

My family finds my politics and my feminism weird. My mom told me years ago to hide all my feminist books because if guys saw them, they wouldn't want to date me. I told her that would be hiding who I am and that any guy that's going to be with me is going to be a feminist. She laughed, but I found him. I love my feminist man. And I love my feminism.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Don't Want to be the Susan Boyle of Academia...Though At Least She Made It Eventually...

I didn't sleep well last night. Before I climbed into bed, I submitted a paper abstract for a conference. A major, really awesome, very big deal conference.

Last spring, I submitted two papers for two conferences. And got rejected. Ouch.

A couple months ago, I submitted an abstract for a hugely impressive conference for a large, very popular academic association. It's such a tough conference to get into that renowned scholars even get rejected so I don't hold out much hope that a lowly little grad student like me will be accepted. I'll receive notification in a few weeks, but I'm ok with getting rejected from this one.

The one I submitted to last night, though...I really want. I was so nervous about my submission that I tossed and turned all night, editing the abstract in my sleep. By the time I woke up this morning, I was convinced I made major errors and submitted a poorly structured abstract that didn't do a good enough job of explaining my research project. But there's nothing that can be done about it now. You win some, you lose some.

Growing up, I really struggled with self-esteem. I went through some things as a kid that were hard on my confidence level. I've worked hard to overcome that and build up my self-confidence, but I still waiver.

It's a daily internal struggle. I feel like I'm constantly fighting with myself. I posted last week that I'll be submitting to at least four conferences this fall. I really don't want this process to become some awful self-defeating prophecy. I really want at least one or two successes. I know that won't fix all my problems and that real change will only happen when it starts within myself, but a push in the right direction will certainly help more than it'll hurt. Fingers crossed!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Who Are You? And What Do You Want With Me?

I was on Carolina Girl's blog the other day and saw that she looked up her keyword analysis on Google Analytics. I figured I'd give it a shot too.

I never visit my analytics page and often forget it's even there. Most the time I just look it up to see how many visits my blog's being getting. I usually don't pay attention to the network location and even when I do glance at it, it doesn't tell me anything interesting. I know where my friends work so sometimes if I see the name of a friend's company, I know they've been visiting. But most the time, it's acronyms I don't understand or generic internet providers like Comcast. But hey, while I'm posting info from my analytics page, why not post it all?

These are the top five network locations for my blog visitors over the past two months:

1. Comcast
2. Road Runner
3. Dixon-Hughes (An accounting firm in Atlanta. Creepy, B!)
4. Cellco
5. Verizon

Keywords are what people search to find your blog. These are my top ten for the past two months:

1. Grab that net and catch that beautiful butterfly
2. Life is a runaway train you can't wait to jump on
3. Love only cares about itself quotes (sad and no it doesn't!)
4. Dating blog frogs (frogs?)
5. Fired alcohol
6. Grab beautiful man (haha!)
7. Losing friendship in your 20s (sad!)
8. Sexy muscle man (funnier than #6)
9. Tennessee Volunteers I wanna hear Rocky Top
10. When do you give up on love

Kinda makes me think I need to re-evaluate what I post on my blog. Love doesn't only care about itself, love is about selflessness. I really don't get that one or why so many people search that. Losing friendship in your 20s is sad, but true, and seems to happen to a lot of people. Something about growing up maybe.

And when do you give up on love? That's a tough one, and I don't know the answer. Some people you never give up on, but with some you just have to let go and move on. I guess that keyword sends people to the blog I wrote after I realized the Awful Ex was right that we weren't really friends. That was hard. It hurts sometimes to see how wrong you are about a person or situation, and it hurt that a friendship with someone I'd known for 15 years was over.

Now I wanna give a shoutout to my top five referring sites, which are all the blogs of my bloggy friends. Thanks for sending people here, and I hope I send people your way too cuz you're all awesome!

Very cool, Google Analytics.

Thanks for visiting my blog! Y'all come back now, ya here?

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