Thursday, April 30, 2009

You're really great, you know.

It's weird to realize that you're admired. It always comes out of the blue, too. You're never prepared to hear someone tell you, "You know what? I've always thought you were great." I think it's because we spend so much time with ourselves and there's a little ghoul inside of us saying, "You have bad breath, you're not very creative and I know you don't think you have cankles but you do."

Recently I was perusing Facebook, like I do, and a friend from my ole' college days (as though it was that long ago) started utilizing the Facebook Chat. Generally when someone starts talking to me, I immediately go offline and pretend to not be there because I don't have the patience to have a conversation when all I want to do is look at pictures of a Spring Break trip to Cancun. Here's a picture of a girl and a boy with cans of Miller Light. Here's a dozen pictures of the same girl with various boys holding one or two cans of Miller Light. Here's a picture of two girls kissing. And yet--I'm mesmerized. I just keep clicking and just see everyone's eyes get more and more glazed.

This girl wanted to tell me how cool she thought I was when we were in classes together. She always thought I had the most intelligent things to say and she loved it when I would discuss something in class. I intimidated her. That's nothing but comical to me because I remember mostly never reading the required material and even less often, having any thoughts on it. Occasionally our professor would call on me and I would say, "I don't know" about a hundred times until he forced me to come up with a position. So, I would use my fingers to talk and mostly regurgitate what other students had said until I finally began to understand what I was talking about and then decide. It's important, when talking about literature to use phrases like, "situational irony" and "existential crisis" often. So, that's what you do. Sometimes the professor tries to steer you to a real point but sometimes you nail it. I nailed it a few times but usually just rambled until he let me shut up. The ghoul pops up and says, "You idiot. What are you doing with your life? This is all a waste." And then someone else says, "I'm with Libby..." And the ghoul says, "Wait--what?"

I think she only remembered the times that I accidentally nailed it and ignored the times that I rambled in concentric circles until my eyes rimmed red and Professor Ness had mercy on me before I was reduced to a puddle of my own bodily secretions. I really do think he did that on purpose sometimes. Which is fine, I don't think you can really do well in a Ness class unless you're terrified and pinning for his approval. I had his approval, he loved me. I just didn't know it until very recently when I saw him at the Bluestem release party. He was excited to see me, and that guy doesn't get excited--not that I've ever seen anyway. When I was in South Dakota, I wrote to him a few times after I read The Little Prince. I remember that he read a section of it to our World Lit class and he had to stop and have himself a little cry. I told him that I read it and I remembered how it was so powerful in class (Honestly, though, after class we all just said to one another "what just happened in there?"). He wrote back that his friend gave him that book and they bonded over it so intimately and fell in love. For their honeymoon, they backpacked through New Zealand or Australia or something fantastic like that for six months. Falling in love over a French children's book--that's what sappy indie films are made of.

Hearing that you're cool is nice. It's impossible to believe, however, on account of the damn ghoul. He will always pop up and try to ruin everything. At the time, you think he's being realistic but he's not. He makes some good points from time to time and it does give you some realistic perspective but if there's anything I've learned from my dear Jamie--it's that it's ok to know what you're awesome at. But reminders are so nice and unexpected and make doing the rest of the day, a little more fun. It helps you to stand up straight.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Let's dance.

I'm here at the coffee shop, where I can usually be found on my off days. At the table next to me are three guys who are clearly studying for a final in some pre-med class. I'm guessing that this particular class has to do with addictions and crap like that. They're studying doses of certain medicines to give to people who have been using alcohol and drugs and have secondary issues. For example, "Dude comes into the hospital. He got shot. But dude just took 7 shots of Jager. What can we give him for the pain?" My thought is: a few more shots and the guy won't feel a thing anyway. One guy just remembered that he got a new stethascope, he got so excited that he went out to his car to get it and show his study buddies. Awesome. Medical nerds. But, let's be honest, medical nerds get serious play.

I've been wanting to blog for a really long time. I've got a lot to figure out. I have a lot that I'm not willing to talk about in this, or many other venues. All that I know for now and for sure is that my plan is changing.

I've always been very excited by the fact that I never really had a plan. I just rode the wave. If life moved, I'd move back and we did this ractionary dance together and it was just fine. And that worked for a while. And then life said, "K. We're done living in South Dakota, so you're going to need to move in with your friends and come up with a plan. Oh, and then once you figure out that plan, it's not going to work out. Right. Also, once it starts to work out, you'll soon realize that it's not and you and I are going to tango, baby." I'm in the tango. Right now.

I went to McPherson and applied for the job that's supposedly "in the bag" for me. I still feel really nervous about it though. I've had a lot of perfect-for-me jobs completely ignore me. Genesis and I went apartment hunting. We found a perfect 600 sq. foot one bedroom for only $300 a month. I was thiscloseto calling the guy about it when I discovered that it doesn't have a stove or a refrigerator. That's kind of a big deal for me because I need to be able to both heat and cool my food (crap--pre-med guy just saw me looking at him. I was laughing at him because I just saw him checking out one of those lame, fake blond, fake tan girls that are a dime a dozen here in Johnson County). I told Genesis that I need an apartment with a fridge and stove and that has now become her mission. She and I went together to look at a duplex. It really is perfect for me and I love the hard wood floors and windows. I asked Genesis what she thought of it and she said thoughtfully, "Well, I think that it's a good home for you, Aunt Lib, because it has a stove."

Who knows if any of this is going to work out or if I'm even going to end up in McPherson or not. I do know that I want to be there. I want to be around Genesis and Amos and any other kids Adam and Arryn may happen to have. I have never considered moving here before, not in all seriousness anyway. I know that Olathe has nothing for me. I know I've been calling it my home but what makes it my home? I have... 2 friends here and they're all talking about leaving. We've all been talking about leaving. Trying so hard to make a home here, is like paying serious cash to alter an outfit that I bought at WalMart. It's not going to fit after the first washing, and it's never going to be what I wish it was. It will also have a weird little detail that you can't remove.

Part of never having a plan is never knowing what I was looking for and, therefore, never knowing when I get what I want. Maybe I need a picture of what satisfaction looks like for me. I mean, I realize that I'm not going to meet the rest of my life in the next two weeks. I still want to live in a lot of places. I still want to do a lot of things. I still want to be in love with someone who wants to be in love with me. I still might not really want to get married. I still probably won't have children that I planned on. I still will write and read and design and be happy with really mindless stuff like I am right now. I still will finish my degree. I still will go get my masters. I still will want to teach English Literature and writing to people who are older than 14. But that's still my whole entire life and I'm still only about a quarter of the way through my expected lifespan.

I'm not figuring out the next 75 years in the next two weeks. At most, I'm figuring out a year. It's important to see these things in small doses. It's why alcoholics have to take it one day at a time. Just one day at a time. Today I did all that was on my to-do list: Go to work. Come home from work. Call two landlords (shockingly, both have already rented out their one-bedroom perfect places).

Tomorrow I will start my day by making a whole new to-do list. It's going to include fun things like "get a pedicure with Alyssa" and things that I sometimes feel too intimidated to do, like "call about that effing job, don't be a wimp, just do it."