CWA #1

Awhile ago, I announced that my mom had given me a book called “642 Things To Write About.” I had intended to start this earlier but nows a better time than never right? As mentioned in that post, you’ll know it’s a creative writing peace based on the title. I plan on just opening up the book and choosing the first topic I see. Some will be fiction some will be non, depending on the topic I suppose. Here we go…

Who people think you are, compared to who you know you are.

Wow. Jumping right in I guess. This is awfully tricky because it really depends on who the person in question is. People judge a book by its cover in all different forms. I could look at the cover of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and think it’s going to be a phenomenal book while my 70-something year old grandma could look at it and see a bad illustration of the greatest book series of her granddaughters generation.

A judgement that has stuck with me for a very long time is something my 10th grade best friend said to me. I enrolled in the Newfolden school district mid-9th grade year. I was quiet. I always am when I’m somewhere new, I know that for sure. It took me some time to warm up to the 25 or so people in my grade. Fast forward a good year or so, I became really close with a group in my class. Well, as close as you can be. See, being the new kid gives you some kind of exotic sense of “who is she?” But your face doesn’t pop up when childhood memories are reminisced or last years festivities discussed. They don’t know your deepest darkest secrets or who your first kiss was. They don’t always include you and when it comes down to basic instincts, they never fully trust you.

Regardless of all this, looking back they were some of the best people I had ever known. After a year or so of becoming friends and comfortable sharing my boring 16-year-old life with, my bestest friend at the time told me something I’ll never forget: “When you first came to this school, I thought you were a bitch.”

Nice, huh?

We went on to discuss her statement. It was nothing I said or did. I just looked like I’d probably be a bitch. It wasn’t a look I gave her (not knowing her) or the people I talked to the first day. It was just a “feeling” she had. I’ve always wondered what people thought about me, I think everyone does. But since that moment, I really think that I became more aware of that nagging wonder.

I’ve had about four best friends in my life. In chronological order: Kristi, Sam, Adam, and Chris. Kristi popped back in when we were in college. I moved from Roseau so we were disconnected and now, we’re disconnected because of well…life. But I still consider her one of my dearest friends. Even with our lives so different and going years without talking.

The other three still hold a huge piece of my heart too. Sam was my first and longest friend when I moved. We shared some of the literal best times of my life together. Nothing and no one could ever replace a friendship like we had. It was hard to “stay friends” when she left junior year and I decided to pursue college.

Then there was Adam. Adam pulled me out of my shell. He was wild and open. He would sing like no one was watching and not try to clean up because someone was coming over. He was confident and my confidant. We did everything together.

And same goes for Chris. Chris, my brother, and I were connected at the hip for some time but like every friendship, things change.

I wish I could have been one of those people who have had a best friend since kindergarten. Even as adults, be close. Meet up, go to each others bachelorette parties, travel together. All that jazz. But you know what? If that were the case, I might not have met the four that I did have.

Clearly, I’ve gotten off topic here. What I guess I’m trying to say is I have no idea who people think I am. And I have no idea how people decided they wanted to be my friends along the way. The only insight I’ve ever gotten was that I’m probably a bitch even though I don’t think I am.

I think that people think I’m reserved. That I’m quiet. I think that people think I’m a know it all or stuck up. I think people think that I think I’m better than them. I think people think I’m a fat slob. I think people don’t trust me or feel uneasy around me. I think people think I’m stupid for staying with Channing when I should have left.

I don’t think that anyone envy’s my life as I do theirs.

Who am I really? At 25 years old, I should know who I am, shouldn’t I? I should have lived and made more mistakes than I have. I should have traveled and gotten my bachelors and volunteered at a soup kitchen and partied harder and loved deeper. I should have experimented and dated more guys. I’m sure that’s what the “wondering me” would say. But it’s not about her. It’s about the “actual” me.

Who am I really? I’m a 25-year-old woman trying to figure my life out. I’m a bitch but I’m only a bitch to people who actually deserve bitchiness. I love hard and fall even harder. I’m a thinker. I’m an observer. I stumble over my words because I don’t know what I want to say but I know how to write it. If you mean the world to me, I’ll put your needs ahead of mine. Always. I’m a bad tipper because I expect excellent service. I lack empathy. I wish I had access to that deep socket in my brain to empathize with homeless people or women who regret last nights hook-ups but I don’t. I love children and want to be a mother. I love to write but feel that it’ll never get me anywhere. I’m quiet in settings I’m not comfortable in. I don’t trust very many people but I expect people to trust me. I strive to be someone who my brothers look up to but I don’t think I’ve done a very good job of that. I know I’m a good person and that I care too much. I know that I am smart but I know I’m not the smartest. I believe in third, fourth, and fifth chances. I know that my family and boyfriend are the most important things in my life. I know that I focus to much on wishing my life had been different instead of appreciating the life I have. I know I’m fat and it makes me hate myself. Like really, really hate myself. I know that my size and the way I look deter me from being the person I am inside. It prevents me from being the outgoing girl I once was. It puts a road block directly in front of me. I don’t go out and meet people because I’m bigger than a mini-cooper.

I know a lot about myself but I don’t always know who I am. I’m not who I think I am because of what I am. I don’t know if I’ll ever really know who I am. Who are you?

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Series Finale.

I just wanted to take a quick second to say thank you to anyone and everyone that checked out my blog over the last few weeks since I began my “12 Days of Christmas” series. Before the series began, I was averaging a whopping 3 views per post thanks to the very few devoted readers I have. Since then, my average has octupled! That’s 8 times as many views as normal. My blog peaked at 56 views in one day on 12/22! So thank you to everyone that took time out of your scrolling to click on my posts!

My stats will likely go down again since I won’t be posting to FB after this series. I don’t usually post my personal blog because I’ve been bitten twice too many times by the sharks of the social media world. I enjoy writing on many different levels. Sometimes I like to stick to a topic and sometimes I like to bitch and moan about life. In the past, I probably was more personal than some were comfortable with involving certain aspects of my life. That is the primary reason I stopped posting to Facebook and sharing my voice with the people I knew because people really can be assholes, myself included.

That, however, is besides the point. This Christmas season, no matter how hard I tried, didn’t feel like Christmas. And per my unofficial poll, it was a mutual feeling throughout the small population of people I know. I attribute it to a few different things:

  • 1. The season was short. Thanksgiving was late in the month of November so Christmas really only had 3-4 weeks to happen and become everything we dream of.
  • 2. The weather. It’s been awfully mild this year. The last few years have actually been quite warm but this year we had little to no snow..anywhere.
  • And 3. This one is more personal but it just didn’t feel like Christmas at home. We didn’t put everything up this year because we moved into our apartment in November and we didn’t host my families celebration either. So it kind of felt..bleh.

I do have to say though, because of my self-mandated writing assignment, I began to think about the Christmas season outside of the box. Instead of focussing on hurrying up and buying everyone the best gifts which isn’t what Christmas is supposed to be about; I tried my best to appreciate the finer things that this holiday season has to offer. My mom being selfless and donating goods to the homeless shelter, Channing and I quietly watching a wintertime parade. Traveling to see family and seeing our nieces and nephews. It was a very nice but short holiday season.

Of course, as always, I wish I could have done more. I wish time and finances had allowed us to go to Jayde’s Christmas choir concert and to bring Duane to the Holiday Train in Thief River. I wish I could have spent some real quality time with both of my brothers and watch more Christmas-y shows. I wish we could have done a little more and gave to the poor. The great thing about all of this is that life isn’t over. There is still time to do and to give. To visit and to see. There’s more time than we even know what to do with so as long as it’s not wasted, the “I wishes” will become “I haves.”

I hope that you took time this Christmas season to enjoy it instead of stress over it. I hope that you received and gave everything that you had planned on including love, good fortune, and happiness.

As previously mentioned, I probably won’t be posting my personal blog to Facebook again for awhile unless I feel that I have a really good story or something to share simply because I don’t want to crowd peoples Facebook feeds. Feel free to comment, like, and share all you want. I really enjoy hearing your feedback. Stay tuned for an even better year then all the years so far! And thank you, again.

1st Day Of Christmas: Oh, Christmas Tree

IMG_7985Beginning the 12 days of Christmas I only found it fitting that I’d introduce you to my Christmas tree. For the past five years I’ve accumulated quite an assortment of blue and silver Christmas decor but once Christmas clearance was in full swing last December, I decided to change it up and opted for a more “traditional” color scheme. You probably can’t really tell by the photo but I chose reds, golds, and greens – Christmas colors of course.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had much Christmas spirit yet this year. Usually our apartment is dolled up floor to ceiling; kitchen to bathroom in Christmas but not this year. So far we’ve only managed to put up the tree, a couple decorations, and a string of lights.

I think part of it has to do with the struggle we had to move and get settled into a new city so quickly. Three months ago we hadn’t even been planning to move and here we are. Settled in (kind of) two hours away, new jobs, new people, new life. I really do have to give Channing a pat on the back though…we’ve been through a lot of unmentionable shit (for lack of a better word) over the years but boy that man will do anything for me. We could have very easily stayed in Grand Forks. We both had great paying jobs, enjoyed the people we knew, had a comfortable living situation but it wasn’t our “dream.” We didn’t see ourselves planting our tree there.

It was definitely a financial risk moving to Bemidji for both of us but we’re bound and determined to rise above it in order to pursue our dreams. And before you laugh at that last sentence – Bemidji wasn’t our dream either. We don’t know exactly where we want to grow old at but we knew for sure, above anything, that it wasn’t Grand Forks.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. ~Maya Angelou

And we did.

Another part of feeling out of the Christmas spirit this holiday season is knowing that not a soul will be coming to visit us through the holidays. We won’t be hosting Christmas this year which I’ve come to terms with but the way that certain things have been gone about really has given me a bitter taste in my mouth. That’s my problem though – there’s a point when we all need to be the bigger person and watch how the acorns fall rather then picking them off ourselves.

To help me fully get into the holiday spirit this year, I’ve decided to do this “12 Days Of Christmas” blog series. I believe I explained it a bit more in my previous post but that’s day one! I’d love to see your Christmas tree pictures and hear how you’ve gotten into the Christmas-y mood this year!

A New Series.

There is so much that I want to write about about and at the very same time there’s nothing to say. I’m a thinker. My gears are constantly turning. It’s like my brain is shape-shifting in ways that I don’t even know how to explain.

Oh, were the days when you could walk around with a hand held recorder to record all your thoughts. I mean, we still have it sure – it’s called a phone. In order to record anything you have to swipe to unlock, swipe to find the app, wait for your phone OR the app to stall and then load…do I need to continue or do you get the point?

My newest thought was to do a “12 Days of Christmas” series on my blog. When I looked that up, I came across some new information. The “12 Days of Christmas” actually starts on Christmas Day and runs through January 5th. Am I the only one to not have known that? My entire life I was under the assumption that December 25th was the last day, day twelve.

Sticking to my original assumption though, I’m doing it my way. Day 1 will be December 14th because that only makes sense – the 12 days leading up to Christmas. Obviously.

I have a few reasons for pursuing this. The first being that I’ve been so busy trying to manage my second blog that this one has kind of taken an undeserved hit. In a perfect situation, I’d obviously have only one blog. One central location for readers to find me. But that’s not the case. I have so much invested into this blog that I don’t want to let it go and I won’t be posting any of my random, no subject rants (like this one) on there anyways.

I have (well had) a few plans for this blog to begin with because I haven’t been making a very good effort to write. Writers block doesn’t seem to be a problem..Netflix does. Orange Is The New Black anyone? Talk about an addiction. I finished it in less then a week and now I’m on to my next fix: House of Cards.

Damnit, Netflix.

So stay tuned everyone. The self-required “12 Days of Christmas” series begins on December 14th.

A Working Title II.

Wow! To say “it’s been awhile” is a bit of an understatement. But I come to you with fabulous news! As you know (or you should know) I recently moved to a new city and started a new job.

I also received approval to start a Featured Staff Blog at the local newspaper that I’m working for. This is exciting news for me! I love to write and I would love it if my voice could reach more than the small handful I’ve received with this blog and my previous blog. But please, don’t fret. I won’t be abandoning this one.

This blog is going to remain the same. It will include my random ramblings, critiques on life in general and everything in between. My new blog, creatively dubbed “A Working Title II” will be a little more straight forward and to the point. I won’t be going in deep on the personal front or posting anything borderline offensive. It’ll be clean cut I guess some would say and I’m okay with that. It’s a foot into the right direction for me.

Since I didn’t go to school for journalism or actually anything even close to that; I feel that any opportunity I have to get my voice out there is an opportunity to take. I’ve posted a few times on my new blog and I plan to post the link for those posts periodically on this one so that you always have access to them.

I hope that you continue to see what’s going on in the wonderful (kind of boring) world of Ori as well as start a new trek to my new blog! If you have any questions or would like to you know…publish me – my contact information is updated on the appropriate page.

To visit my new blog; A Working Title II, click here.

As always, enjoy!

Week Hashtag Five.

My blog has been pretty bare lately. Busy I guess. No really, I’ve been busy up to my ears. I’m coming to an end of the last Monday at my current job. Four days to go. Most people don’t give a five week notice. But I did. Partially my choice, partially not. Anyways…week five is officially here. Day one is officially done. Bleh.

I’ve come out pretty good on those Facebook Buy & Sell pages over the last couple weeks. If I hadn’t already spent what I made last week, I’d have come to my PR Buy & Sell total: $110. Not too hashtag bad if you ask me. I thought I’d try this new thing; replace curse words with the word hashtag. I’m wondering if people will take me seriously or think I’m a hashtag genius.

I mean, I come from a crop of digital inventors. My first boyfriend broke up with me via MSN. Emoji’s were cool before Apple “thought” them up. My generation created chat rooms and MySpace was our baby. Now we speak in hashtags. And by the way, if you haven’t come across at least one millennial who has used hashtags in open dialog than you might want to buy that particular millennial a computer, smart phone, and some good ol’ fashioned non-dial up internet.

On with the show. Did you know that if you rent a brand spanking new, only four other people live in the building, apartment…figuring out hashtag internet is an exhausting 1 hour and 51 minute headache on the phone? Now if I could just lug around the corded telephone with a football fields length worth of cord around the house with me, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But to crank my neck or listen to the God-awful “please hold” music on speaker for that long? Where did my night go?

63f15aada3cae11993bcae4c230c561cNot to mention, I’m living like a poor kid right out of high school trying to cut it on a punctured blow up mattress. I guess the one thing I have going for me is that I’ve thrown housework out the window for the next four days right? This is the life. Week five.

Have you seen the MTV hit show Awkward? If you haven’t, you should. It’s classic bad acting, cliche, high school drama rolled into a thrilling must-see 30 minute TV show. I watch it every week. It’s one of my many television heroines. Anyways..last week Tamara and Jenna were fighting (they’re best friends and apparently best friends fight. Who would have known.) Tamara is a very high strung, super organized, always knows what’s going on redhead. And Jenna, she’s a super chill, go with the flow, wrong place wrong time kind of girl.

51WAhDYHNcL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Closing in on the end of their little fight, Tamara expressed how she would just die to be as chill and relaxed as Jenna is. To just go with it, take life as it is. That’s how I wish I could be. Maybe. My mind is always moving, even when I’m relaxing, I’m constantly thinking. I’ve never been that girl but I’ve always been that girl.

Once I get fully settled into my new place I have an updated game plan for my blog. Some of it will be the same blabbering on about nothing and some will be creative writing assignments courtesy of an early birthday present my mom (and blog reader) gave to me. Any of the 642 things to write about or variation of such will be labeled CWA #1 and so on. Any normal post will stay the same.

I hope you enjoy! Here’s to week five, day two.

She Got Her Wings.

So much can happen in one year. Some enter this world and some exit. Families are formed and families are torn apart. People are forgiven and people are damaged. Some die and some are born. We travel and we get snowed in. We fall and sometimes we get back up. We change jobs, we move to new cities, and sometimes..we sit still. Sometimes life happens so quickly and days turn into weeks that turn into months that turn into years. Before you know it, you can’t even remember the last conversation you had with someone because of life.

And at the very exact same time that “life” is happening, it doesn’t. Life isn’t easy, I don’t think it was designed to be easy. Everyone will hit a rough patch or twenty. Some will suffer throughout their childhood. Some as young adults. Some won’t even suffer until they’ve hit the peak mid-life crisis stage of life. But it happens to the best of us.

Truly..to the best of us.

One year ago today, an old friend passed away. I call her an old friend not because of our age but because of life. Life got in the way from seeing each other often. Life got in the way who’s who and what’s what. Life got in the way of appreciating the goodness, the memories, the time.

And death? Well, sadly, death brought us back together. We don’t often think about everyone that has made an impact on our lives every single day because there’s still time. There will always be time to run into them at Wal-mart or catch up at class reunions. There will be time, especially when you’re 23.

That’s where I was wrong. This last year I’ve really tried to work on finding out who the hell I am. What I stand for. Who and what I love. I’ve tried to humble myself (it isn’t easy) and I’ve tried to be a more empathetic person (definitely not easy). I’ve tried to improve myself because of one person and that person is Aron.

Now, I wasn’t best friends with her. I didn’t keep in touch like I should have. I didn’t know what she was doing in her day to day life but I knew one thing. Time didn’t change her heart. It may have changed her life but it didn’t change her heart. It wouldn’t have mattered if 2 years had gone by or 20, she still would have come right up to you with a hug and a smile and ask what the hell you’ve been up to.

Man, I wish I could be like her. I wish that I could find the best in people and care as much as she did. I wish that she was still here and I could make a valiant effort to reconnect with her. I wish that her family could squeeze her too tight just one more time. I wish that holes weren’t created in hearts the day she died.

One year ago today, an old friend passed away. So much can happen in one year. Some enter this world and some exit. And some..well they are with us every day. We all miss you, Aron. Keep us on our toes will ya? I hope those wings fit you just right.

I’ve mentioned Aron in a couple posts throughout the last year. I’ve posted them below for Elaine, Melissa, and Austin. Sending the biggest hugs I can muster up your way today.

10/17/2013:
We Shouldn’t Have To Say Goodbye Yet
10/22/2013:
I Want To Be A Better Person
1/8/2014:
Heavy Hearts & Open Arms
4/4/2014:
Does Heaven Have DQ Ice Cream Cake?
8/14/2014:
Genie, You’re Free