yes, we’re doing this

I picked up “Writer’s Digest BootCamp” or something titled like that, so I’m writing short posts for 2 weeks or 14 days, however you like your cake cut. 

Today I have to start like this, 

“Dear Writer’s Block, it’s not you, it’s me.”

Actually it is you, but the other night when I said this, I was saying it to a boy, a very nice one, really. And I think I meant it, I meant that I’m slightly problematic in my thinking and my being, so it would be in his best interest to run fast. Run beloved run, for your sake and sanity! (it is all any of us have.) That is what I meant. 

But back to me and you and why we’re breaking up. Don’t you hate break-up conversations? Oh my gosh, the worstest. The truth is that I don’t actually believe in myself, I don’t believe that my voice matters in this here world of random internet junk, I don’t believe I’m naturally funny or that my scribbles would make anyone smile. And you, you’re fueling my disbelief. So we’re done. Talk to the hand. Walk away. Everything you own is in a box to the left, the left, the left. Ya feel me?

We had our times, our selfies and whatnot. I’m sorry I led you on. I do that and I’m not proud but here I am, writing a whole post for you and being all genuine like I care or something. I don’t care to be blocked by you, WB. The juices have to flow. So before this starts sounding like a progress note written by a gastroenterologist, I’ll stop and let it be.

Mourn the loss, eat some cupcakes, do yo’ thang.

We. Are. Done.

No longer yours (and fabulous for it!),

B

 

my night in a LAPD car

You could say I’m a nice girl, most of the time.

Often I find myself in situations in which I consider: I’m either crazy, God has an insanely hilarious sense of humor, or both got combined and we’re all just having hilarity cocktails.

Recently I’ve been pulling this stint where I go work shifts at random hospitals to make some money while I wait for my full-time job to start. This is, one the one hand, genius, and on the other hand, really stressful and it requires gobs of adaptive ability. Naturally I can’t deny it.

Last night I was asked to work in downtown LA at a well-known and very busy hospital. I arrived and got my assignment, got to work, and within a few hours got hungry. I don’t know why, maybe because I’m a Texan, I thought downtown LA would be hoppin’ on Friday night. Just me? Come on. I thought Lady Gaga would be there as soon as I stepped out. Or MIley. Or somebody? Come on Ryan Seacrest, I know you’re up there in your skyrise apartment.

I was told there was a Subway nearby open until 2 am, and that I could walk there if I was, you know, up for it. Meanwhile I’m thinking, okay dude working the ER, I’m wearing a bright flowery scrub top! I look adorable! What on earth makes you think I wouldn’t walk out into the dark shady streets of downtown LA!? How dare you!

He showed me the way and bid me farewell (he was probably thinking….forever) under his breath.

I walked as aware as I could be to Subway, got a foot-long Spicy Italian (no mayonnaise, because it was technically my 4th meal), and saw a nice big black and white LAPD car outside Subway.

Reasoning: I can either walk the longer way back to the front of the ER and get drugs offered to me or I can these somewhat-friendly looking cops if they’ll give a sista a ride.

Me: “Hi…I’m a nurse at Good Sam. I’m scared to walk the long way around to the ER. Can I….ride with you?”

Woman police in passenger seat: “Uh…why are you out here?”

Me: “I was hungry.” (obvious tone, sandwich bag in hand)

WP: “Oh. Yes. Let me open it.”

I got in the back seat. IT WAS DARK. My pupils dilated HARD.

So I got you all hyped up about this but it was only about 3 blocks, and the car smelled like old Funyuns, and all I could hear was nonsense on the walkie-talkie. Sadly the FBI nor the CIA were calling this specific car last night.

There was no indoor handle to open (imagine that), so I had to wait to be escorted out of the vehicle. I felt like a celebrity. There was almost a red carpet, but it was more like a mat leading into the ER entrance. It’ll do for now. We can upgrade later.

I got back to the 8th floor, and in the safety of the nurses’ lounge, the Spicy Italian was perfect.

this, my 24th rodeo

The conception of this post began with me thoroughly bothering the sweet barista at Starbucks (the only place open in this town after 6 pm on a Sunday, don’t get me started!) about the difference between an americano-misto and a decáf misto, which is obviously like the difference between the earth and Jupiter, so needless to say if it wasn’t for this great view of 4 older men reading their books/newspapers/stocks, I would be very on edge right now, so let’s all take a deep breath and remember: YOLO.

And since you only live once (this expression is so obvious it’s comical and annoying all at once) – well, you better make your 24th year THE BEST EVER. No pressure, silly.

And now that I’m 24, I’m alive and kickin’ on the ol’ Twitter, the Book (like a good neighbor, Facebook is always there), and actively using Instagram as the new Photoshop, because hello, Photoshop is expensive and confusing. I also got a grown-up job and I intend to work to live, but hopefully not live to work.

Props to Instagram. Insta-glam! Insta-awesome! Insta-frenz!

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there is NO subliminal message whatsoever

When I was 18, I thought that by the time I was 24, I’d be President of the United States and if that didn’t work out I’d maybe be married (I was a lot thinner then) and if that didn’t work I’d just have an awesome blog. So now it’s clear which path I took. (What is that poem Frost wrote? The path less traveled is littered with blogs?) The Presidency seems overrated anyway. I mean living in a WHITE house,  ALL the time? You can’t pull that stuff after Labor Day.

So on this here birthday I am celebrating with Swarovski crystal earrings (by default, wearing Swarovski makes me officially trendy-elegant), gorgeous flowers, and the fact that I’ve made it to 24 with no regrets.*

Goals for my 24th year:

1. Visit someplace new (like a new city, not like a new public restroom)

2. Get accepted to a graduate school of decent repute. NOT high repute. I’m not snobby.

3. Live the normal Christian life, day by day, bit by bit.

4. Have a “green tea month” and do yoga. Publicize it. Massively.

5. Wear patterned scrubs that would make Florence Nightingale proud.

The possibilities are endless, but the years are not. YOLO, y’all.

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My girl AC did this for me. This is why I’m friends with smart people.

*Regrets, I think, are just things you can do better next time.

 

#203: it doesn’t take a big city

Taking jabs at seriousness isn’t my forté but it’s Saturday and you are all out being leisurely so someone’s gotta wear the pants! Enter…me.

Let me show you something!

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If we can all be cool and not make a big fuss about how I favorited my own tweet, we can move on.

I got a job this week. That’s right folks! I’m gonna be bringing that bacon HOME.

That’s enough tooting of the proverbial bedazzled horn, let me get to the point.

So now I go around telling people, oh, me? I got a job in LA. And in small-town central Texas, that’s like, a BIG deal. That is to say that somehow because you decided it was a good idea to move to a smoggy metropolis filled with eccentric (weird) and rude people (okay, I’m sure there are some good people too), you are better at life.

Living in LA (so far) has not been glamorous. I have found a niche, a place to call home in the church where I meet, but apart from that, LA is just a huge city with a lot of problems and tacos. And some museums. Which I’ve never been to.

So when I’ve visited my friends this week and have seen their lives, I got a little fuzzy inside. The small-town ones: the mom with two kids whose life revolves around the playground and mac-n-cheese, my sister-friend who is now serving the church full-time (kudos, kudos), my elementary school bus-mate who is now MARRIED and fabulous, my favorite group exercise instructor who followed her dream and opened a gym – I just want to say – their lives matter. They matter just as much as my job offer, just as much as my application to grad school (!!), as much as getting stuck in traffic on EVERY FREEWAY IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. (I’m not upset. Really.)

To say that “because you do everything in a bubble that has a population of 30,000 instead of 30 million” means you are somehow “less than” – well, it’s not only mean, but it’s ignorant and insensitive.

I went to a new restaurant in my hometown and saw a girl who went to high school near me and also went to UT Austin. She lives in Seattle now and I live in LA. We are both visiting home. In our short exchange I realized – we aren’t better for leaving, we are just…gone. Lovers of leaving – that’s what we are. In a different place, at a different stage.

In my matchy match scrubs and my nursey clog shoes…I’m just doing my best to follow my Lord. Whatever that looks like – for now it looks like metropolis and tacos – I will say amen. I will say yes I do want lime and cilantro with that.

You, dear, you may be doing it big in another city or town, with another set of struggles and reasons to pray. But I salute you, wherever and however you are, because life is too short to compare ourselves, and we are loved regardless of geography.

 

#202: everything you see I owe to spaghetti

Truth is I don’t come from money but somewhere along the way I started liking nice things, like whole wheat pasta and brown rice and – dare I say it? – couscous.

I was reminded of this yesterday as I swiveled my hips freely and with concentrated sass in my first Zumba class in months…maybe a year. What I love about group exercise is that there is a corporate sense of energy, and if not energy then at least some guilt from everyone’s overeating. Let’s face it: this is America, overeating is a favorite pastime. We overeat like we check Facebook. Or as we check Facebook. Multi-taskers!

Group exercise also reminds me of back in the day (yes, I talk about back in the day now, I’m that old) when I used to be the instructor and I could boss people around AND get paid for it. I just feel like, because I got to tell people what to do and make them sweat AND GOT PAID FOR IT at the age of 19-21, well then my life has more meaning.

Speaking of meaning,  my mom is pretty much the hotness at getting dressed up, and she gets all puffy when I don’t wear mascara. Which is why I look like the mom in this picture and she’s the one wearing the hot pink pants. I just don’t have the blazing boldness (or small waist to hip ratio) to pull off pants like that, so I say “¡olé!” to my mother, because she is this.close to 60 years old and still shopping like, you know, your looks matter. ¡Olé, olé!

-2

*The title I found in an “artpiece” in IKEA. Even I, EYE, am not that clever.

**I am going to start a category called “pointless but true.” Which, honestly, is more than you can say about most things on the internets.

#201: there is not enough dark chocolate

I spent the week picking at two small pimples that became two fiery volcanoes on my right cheek so I stepped boldly into my job interview this morning knowing that I would never make a good dermatologist, but I’m taking big shots at being a nurse.

This was the interview I had been waiting 3.5 months for since I applied in mid-May. (I can now testify that apart from waiting for an ex to come back from Iraq, or that time I waited to lose like, 5 pounds, that’s the longest I’ve ever waited for anything!…bravo to me!) I was friendly and smart and quite captivating if you’d allow me to be so bold. It went well. I made them laugh and we talked about the shoe sales at Nordstrom’s. Can I get an Amen?

That being said, still with no job offer in hand, I find myself between a rock and a chocolate bar, wondering if I did the wrong thing by following the Lord (or at least what I thought was the Lord, and then Bible school, and now flailing around like a little tadpole who doesn’t know one day she’ll be a frog), if I’m behind all of my college peers because once upon a time I thought it would be a genius idea to invest in the eternal things. (I still believe that, in the depths.)

I’m coming out of an environment where I saw in faint glimpses that I am nothing and Christ is everything, and yet I’m trying to sell myself as a perfectly capable, useful (and hilarious!) member of society, and if someone would just believe in me I would gladly give them 40 hours a week (soul not included).

Regardless, the vast unknown is still terrifying, y’all. Somewhere along the way I lost the manual on How to Be a Functioning Adult in Your Early 20’s. Does anyone have it? Can I get a copy? PDF version?

For now, I’m a full-time servant of the living God (He is, in fact, my boss) and desperately praying that my view would be changed from valuing money-making to valuing a solid investment in the Body of Christ.

Fear not, precious one – the prospects are positive because I’m a consecrated person. I have no fear that He’ll abandon me. It’s like when you know that the rollercoaster seatbelt is not going to actually unlock, but the ride is still rickety and thrilling and sometimes vomit-inducing.

I’m rambling. I need more God. See below.

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Meanwhile, back in the daily grind, I adopted Genny as my little sister and we do alright for ourselves.

 

#200: because new beginnings

So the cat’s out of the bag! It’s safe to say that I’m not trying to impress anyone with my blog theme, so you’re stuck with content and words rather than sparkly things all over the place. It’s great that you’re not needy.

The past two months have been a big and late spring-cleaning of Life As I Know It. In fact, this blog is 4 years old but I deleted the past 190 posts, gave myself 9 because I’m the blog owner and I can do that, and am re-emerging like a gummy little caterpillar that is now enjoying her butterfly-ness. (Think: if you were a butterfly, what would you look like?) I threw the posts away into WordPress’s virtual “trash” and I’m really not sure how to get them back but well here we are being impulsive aren’t we.

The Lord made my blog and my writing die while I was in the Full-Time Training, and maybe this isn’t resurrection, but it’s like…wiggling around in the tomb? I don’t know y’all, I don’t have a best friend at this point and talking to myself too much can’t be that great for my social image, right. Like I said, here we are re-vamping the old blogarooni.

I was in a public restroom in San Diego (why San Diego? WHY NOT) and I heard a woman and her wee girl speaking the most elegant French I’ve heard in 3 years, and I struck up a conversation in French with them and suddenly the nostalgia came rushing like a memory hemorrhage. I was going to be French, I was going to go au-pairing and hiking through whatever mountains are over there. It’s fine, I’m in southern California. There are mountains here. Right beyond the smog, the majesty of mountains is there. Work with me.

I haven’t set the course description for this blog so forgive me for being tangential, but quite frankly, I’m starting a new beginning for myself, although I hardly have a clue what I’m doing (both literally with this blog and figuratively with my life – or is it the other way around!?) and if I saw a clue and tripped over it and then it got made into a blanket and wrapped all over me, I probably wouldn’t know it.

I try not to nurture my cynical side but it grows like weeds.

As part of my militant Bible-reading schedule that I refuse to get behind on (because my momma taught me better than dat), I read this yesterday and it made me feel like okay, maybe you’re mostly unemployed and changing haircolor on the reg and eating way too many carbs, but like, it’s going to be okay if you’d just chill for a bit.

“And He said to them, Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your heart?” – Luke 24:38

And my answer was not reckless abandon or abundant peace or anything spectacular or even that spiritual.

It was just a quietly mumbled “amen.” I surrender all my troubles, I repent of all my doubts. I’ll try not to change my haircolor so much.