Sleep on the Floor

It’s almost midnight, I’m drunk, and I’m thankful. It’s almost Thanksgiving, and I’m finally on break. I’ve come home too often for this to feel like anything more than an ordinary weekend, but I think it will be much more spectacular than the last few visits.

With the weather getting colder, I’m starting to compare myself last year to my current self. I really find it astonishing just how much has changed, be it my situation or myself in general. There are some good and bad memories, and what strikes me as odd is that my… *ring ring*

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I started writing that last night, but was interrupted by a phone call, had some business to tend to, and forgot until this morning. I wish I knew where I was going with that last sentence, but whatever. I’m sure it’ll come back to me tonight when I’m drunk again. Something about memories clinging to different mental states.

It is different this year. Somehow, it seems the years have run together, and I forget how long ago certain memories are. I usually tie my memories to people, and maybe that’s where they blur.

This time last year, I was very needy and very lonely. I liked to be overtly appreciated, for someone to kiss the ground I walked on, because that somehow proved that he loved me. Things have changed, I’m happy to say. I would like to think I’m no longer so needy. I’ve recently discovered that I moreso appreciate the compliments I feel I deserve, not ones that are handed out at the drop of a hat. It’s a different type of cherishing, and it feels much more honest and genuine. Almost like I’ve earned it. Those kinds of compliments make me much happier, make me feel more accomplished.

Also, last night, I remember appreciating all of the beauty around me. There’s just something about a cold November night, the skies so clear you can accurately identify constellations. It always fills my heart, fills me with awe, but I’m not sure how to capture it, how to relive it. Camera phones never can capture what you’re seeing, what you’re feeling, especially when it comes to a beautiful night sky. It’s too beautiful for words, my only weapons against forgetting. I’m not sure if I want to just sit in awe and experience it, or if I want to be able to turn to someone to share that inspiration.

Last weekend, I also had an overpowering sense of appreciation while at the cup (shocking, I know). Recently, coming back to work has felt mundane. There are a few mixed emotions between the place and the people, walls that weren’t there before, both for my own protection and for his. And yet, twice in a few short days the walls came down with ease, no chipping. And, separately, as I walked through the cold alley, clutching an unknown coworkers’ flannel closer to me, I was overwhelmed again with that appreciation. For where I am, for who I have. To know that I’m not alone and that I have people who genuinely love me, regardless of how often they see me. It’s so comforting.

It’s also scary. Why would I ever want to leave this place, where all of these loves reside, in search of new people, new adventure? Would it be a mistake to sacrifice sharing my 20s with some of the best people I have met? I’ve always said that I like to have a home base, but I love to travel outside of it. I just want to always have one place to call home. And shouldn’t that be Middletown? Or am I cheating myself out of more adventures, more beautiful people, by staying where I’m most comfortable? These choices won’t be easy to make, but thankfully I don’t have to make them yet.

Recently, the subject of the power of thoughts and “vibes” has come up a lot. A friend’s mom read a book about how you get out of this world what you put into it, so for example if you are a positive force, a happy energy, similar forces will seek you out. In the same vein, if you are an anxious mess, similar anxious forces will pervade your life. I’m not sure just how much I believe that, although I guess it is very similar to the karma concept. But I wanted to say that, over the years, I have started to really put more of an effort into being appreciative (if you couldn’t tell). I don’t see a whole lot of appreciative forces seeking me out (though there have definitely been some thankful people for which I am grateful), but I do see some kind of payoff. Mostly in my mind. Being appreciative of everything, all the little things, from my car starting in cold weather to hitting a lot of green lights on the way home from class, I just feel so much lighter. Positivity is quite the pervasive force.

So, thank you for listening and allowing me to share my thoughts. It’s therapeutic, even when I don’t really need it. It lets me share those sentimental moments I hold dear.

And with that, it’s time to get ready for drinksgiving with my best friends and favorite people!

Cheers!

 

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Bottled

You’d think for a 21-year-old still in college, my tolerance would be more impressive than it is. One glass of wine and I feel my head swimming, shoulders relaxing, head nodding off. It’s close to the end of the semester, and it has by no means been easy, but this week hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be. Maybe I’m staying ahead of my classes, but something is telling me to keep going, that within the next few weeks something unexpected will come up that will require a lot of time and attention, that will stress me out.

But for now I’m just looking forward to Thanksgiving Break. It’s barely a break. Again I am faced with having too many people to see and not enough time to see them, which is more a blessing than a problem. My schedule is already so jam-packed with seeing friends and family that I don’t have time to work! Ryan and I will finally be reunited and have a chance to head to the bars together (milestones!!), Thanksgiving with the Anderson’s is guaranteed to take up all my time and energy Thursday, and Ryan and I are going to see a Caps game that Friday (my first, and I’m so excited that I actually had a dream about it last night!). Saturday will be another family day, and hopefully one much-needed.

Between my own struggles, my mom’s struggles, and my sister’s struggles, I ache to just have those normal moments again. When no one is too sensitive or too tired. When no one is faking it. It’s all felt a bit brittle lately.

I’ve felt guilty for spending so much time with my friends instead of my family, but I’ve started to realize that it’s more so their distractions and positivity. Sometimes I feel the need to talk about it, and on those days I have a select few that I know I can lean on, but most of the time I’m looking for an escape from the negativity that occasionally invades my life. On those days, leaning on my goofiest friends is the best medicine, and I’m very thankful to have people in my life that are so happy being simple-minded (in a good way).

I say that I struggle, and some of my problems are no easy feat, but a lot of them are teeny tiny on this earth. Nothing some chocolate and a good glass of wine can’t fix.

Thank you for enabling my habit (be it writing or wining).

Dani

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Sensory Wisdom

I’m a naive little 21-year-old. Does red wine have artificial coloring? If it does, don’t tell me, or my purple mustache; I’m enjoying it too much.

This week has been less stressful. I’m not sure if I’m coping, if I’m out of the woods, or if I’m just excited. That’s not to say it’s been an easy week; I still find myself deep in thought every day. Missing people I shouldn’t, mostly. Missing things I should. But also appreciating things I have. Some things have certainly changed from when I was 16 or 17. I feel a more positive force in myself.

I really think it has come from this summer. This wasn’t an easy summer between school and work and dramatic situations, but I still stand by it was life-changing. I learned so much about myself from being on my own for the first time in a long time. I had time to myself, to evaluate and feel without thinking. I definitely think too much. I used to catch myself laughing, question what it was that I was enjoying about that moment. Now I’ve made the decision to just let myself feel it and not worry, wonder, or care why I’m enjoying it. I think it’s helped prolong my happiness.

I’m excited to return to the mountains. And I don’t know what to do with myself, and I’m not as afraid of that as I thought I would be. Instead, I’ll hike, I’ll write, and I’ll work. The future is full of possibilities, and I have to take them.

Candles are a godsend. Today in my argumentation and public policy class, we talking about monuments and memorials and their different representational characteristics. We talked about how water is seen as rebirth, a force of life, etc. And I think fire is the same way. Maybe that’s not a new thought, but there’s something so powerful and mesmerizing about fire that it has to be a source of life. Do you think people that go to Hell have to stay there? Do you think the fire just cleanses them for their new life? Hmm. What a theory.

It’s unbelievable how powerful smell is too. It can create peace, it can trigger trauma. People have different pasts. I’m not sure if that’s something I just recently figured out – I used to be bewildered driving on the highway, thinking about how everyone in the cars around me had different lives; they have different pasts, they were on the road for different reasons, they were going through different points in time and life. So I guess it’s not new, but when my roommate says she hasn’t seen some of my favorite, childhood Halloween movies, I guess it just strikes me again.

Sometimes I think I’m just connected to a different emotional version of the world. Sometimes I can disassociate from problems in order to deal with them, and for some reason I consider myself strong during those times, if not a little heartless. But there are other times I just feel connected on a different level, with a different understanding. I can’t explain it, though this is the first time I’ve tried. I’ll try again later.

I remember that time we ran from my car to your house, soaked within the first ten leaps. I asked for clothes, and you gave me the pants I always borrowed and an old t-shirt you wouldn’t miss (though when have I ever not given your clothes back?). I changed and when you walked in, your drunk eyes lit up as I shrunk into your shirt, embarrassed at being ogled by you. I’ll remember that as I try to forget you.

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