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Posts Tagged ‘Life’

Howdy folks, long time no post… mainly because I honestly haven’t had the time to keep up with it… but now, late at night, I’ve decided to finally give way to my conscience and write a new post.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my blog lately, realized that I need to step up my game a bit and find my niche (which I haven’t yet, still working on that minor detail), but now that I think about it, life in general is a pretty big niche, don’t you think?

And since my blog’s title is in fact “Life in Slow Motion,” (emphasis on the slow part) why not just blog about life’s happenings, changes and issues?

So be it.  My blog is simply about life… life and its journey… because I of all people should know how much can change in a short amount of time.

This time last year, as some may recall, I was in a slump.  Last Thanksgiving was simply hell for my family and I as I dealt with a serious break-up (that you can read about to your heart’s content here, although it’s completely one-sided), and last Christmas was even worse thanks to me… well… getting serious with a guy that wasn’t in my family’s religion.

And that’s a huge deal with my family.

So you can imagine how well that went over… “You need some time for just you, you don’t need to date, you don’t need to date him,” etc.  And, I’ll give my family credit.  They were probably right, I did need time from guys.  But I’m stubborn and strong minded, and therefore I ignored them completely, which resulted in a HUGE blowup from me… It wasn’t too pretty.

Looking back on all that now, I realize that true love doesn’t always come easily, and that some things really are worth fighting for.

This Christmas, the man I fought so hard to have, so hard to have approval from my family, proposed to me.  And I said, “Yes,” after a long pause to take it all in.  Thanks to my brother, Brad Moore, it was caught on video for all you lovelies to watch it here.

Since then, I’ve been obsessing over Annie Little’s “Fly Me Away.” You may have heard it on the Amazon Kindle commercial this year.  I love it 🙂

But really though, I’m going to be a married woman this time next year.  Can you believe it???  Me, married at 21.  Holy crap, can you say reality check?

No more depending on parents.
I have to file my own taxes (ugh).
Find a REAL job (no internships, mall jobs. Crap).
Somehow get medical insurance (yeah, good luck with that).
Car payments, rent, furniture…

OH!  And graduate the spring AFTER I’m married… so that means I’ll still be in school… At least I have a semester until the real world smacks me in the face, right?

God wouldn’t give me anything I couldn’t handle.  Perhaps He’d give me something to straighten me out, teach me a lesson, build some character, but nothing I couldn’t handle.

I totally got this one.  I have a year!  Easy schmeasy.  Once I buy that dress, it’s all down-hill from there, right?
(By the way, anyone that knows of any venues in the Franklin/Nashville area or Knoxville, let me know!)

*Hopefully* December 18, 2010 will be the first day of the rest of my life with Rob Williams.  I hope to have an evening wedding, low-lit chapel with Christmas lights… cool silver-blue and white peonies accent the dresses… me walking down the aisle in a dreamy white (or ivory) form-fitting dress that lets out in organza below the hips, adorned in crystals… walking down the aisle to meet a man with a look of pure joy coming from his eyes, happiness walking—no, sprinting—across his face as his smile lights up the room.  He’ll hardly be able to stand there to wait for me to meet him at the altar… he may run to meet me in the middle…

Fly me away… take me away with you my love

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You know that old saying, “The other side of the tracks?”  If not, it’s kind of like saying “The grass is always greener on the other side.”  It’s pretty much along those same lines.

Anyways, I saw first-hand in my backyard that it’s literally true:  sometimes depending on what side of the tracks you live on can make a world of difference.

Right now, a portion of Interstate 40 running through Knoxville (conveniently located next to the exit I take to go home) is going through Hell and back, otherwise known as “Smart Fix 40.” (Might I add that someone changed the name a bit… it’s a tad vulgar to put on here, but it’s a play on another word beginning with “f.” Let your imaginations run wild with that one.)  The locals, i.e. myself, absolutely love construction around here… especially when you take the wrong exit and end up in the ghetto side of town.

I’ve done this twice.  I hate road construction, traffic, and basically any obstruction that lies in my path.  I’m a fast driver, I speed, and I like to get places as efficiently as possible.  In other words (but some might disagree) I’m a smart driver.  My brother once told me that there’s a difference between being a smart driver and a careful driver.  This, I’ve witnessed, has truth to it.  Hesitation kills, people.

So, when I took the wrong exit my mistake put me in a sketchy, shady, ghetto part of town.  At first, I was a bit scared—I’m a young white female driving alone in her probably-not-so-hard-to-break-into car—but after realizing that most of the people living there wouldn’t harm me, I didn’t feel so scared anymore.  Instead, I felt sadness rush over me.

There are so many homeless people right across the tracks from me, and I do nothing to help them.  Instead, I complain that I don’t have enough money for all the luxuries I want to afford, but I’m fine.  I have parents that help me out, friends to confide in, food to keep me more than satisfied, stylish clothes to wear, shelter over my head and a car to get me places I need to go.

They have nothing.  If they have anything at all, it’s perseverance.  I’ve never had the opportunity to test mine—I mean really, really to truly test my perseverance.  Quite honestly, I have high respects for them because I know they’re stronger people than I could ever be.

My whole life I’ve been pampered.  Everything has been provided for me on a silver platter.  It’s all been so easy so far in my life, but I know a time will come when I won’t have my parents or friends to help me out… and I’ll be on my own.  Then, my perserverance and strength will be tested.

Sometimes the not-so-green grass on the other side of the tracks can teach us something about life; it can make us realize what the most important things in life truly are.

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So I’ve been wanting to blog for some time now, and I recently just posted one I started working on… Wednesday I think?

Eh, anyways, I have to say that today was a good one. Fridays always are for me. I was supposed to take an oral exam in French, but unfortunately it was postponed until next week. Unfortunately, our professor has strep throat. Which sucks. Big ones.

So, instead of butchering the eloquent French language today, my other half and I spent some time in Downtown Knoxville before he had to go to work at 4. It was fun.

The first place I took him to was J’s Mega Mart (please check out the awesome blog entry on it) on Gay Street (which is NOT where a lot of homosexuals hang out, fyi).

This place, if I may say so myself, is freaking AWESOME. They have wigs. They have extensions. They have hats (see below).

They have food, toiletries and home decor. It, in every sense of the phrase, is a mega mart. It’s a Wal-Mart not on steroids. It’s amazing. In fact, today was the second time I’ve been there this week; yesterday I went for work to compose a blog. Unfortunately, I can’t post it until I get pics on there. Meh.

{meanwhile on the farm…}

Speaking of Downtown Knoxville, I’m beginning to spend some serious quality time down there. I’ve always been a fan of old bigger cities (than Wartburg—anything bigger than Wartburg is a big city to me), but Knoxville holds a special place in my heart for sure. For years of driving on the Interstate to Dollywood from my hometown we would always go through a portion of Downtown. I can remember looking out the van window (we had an awesome ’90-something blue Dodge Caravan. Word.) and wondered if the Sunsphere was a giant golden tee-ball Knoxville won for being awesome in the sport, and then I would look longingly to be amongst the old towering buildings and perhaps someday live in Sterchi Lofts.

My fingers are crossed that I might next year. With a cat. Possibly, MAYBE, a roommate, room permitting.

{sigh}

There’s just something about Downtown Knoxville that entrances me. I’m not quite sure what it is—the atmosphere, friendly faces, art, culture, businesses, extravagance of downtown living, old buildings, walking—but it gets me hooked every time.

I just feel grown-up down there; I feel independent and like I’m finally living my dream.. or one of them at least.

Looking back just even a few years ago on my life, my thoughts, my perspectives, I can remember an earnestness, this burning desire, to be downtown somewhere, anywhere. Granted, Knoxville is NOTHING like New York City, but it still gives that home-y downtown vibe.

{epiphany}

That’s it! Eureka! Downtown Knoxville feels like home, keeps me there, because it DOES have a home-y-ness to it!

{word}

Dang it, if I’m not meant for urban, city living then dang… If I can’t afford it I’ll just take a cardboard box with me when my lease is over. That’ll work. My gym has showers.

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I had an epiphany looking at a dead rose today.

For Valentine’s Day, my sweetheart bought me a dozen roses. Almost a month later, I’m finally discarding of most of them, but I was thinking about saving a rose or two, so I began to compare each of them, looking for the best-looking one to keep.

I decided to keep three of them, and then I proceeded to take the petals off the blooms I decided not to keep. As I was peeling away one dried petal at a time, I noticed they kept getting smoother, sweeter smelling and brighter.

It reminded me of that phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Although it looked dead on the outside, the dead petals were preserving the ones not yet harmed by the outside world; they were protecting its inner soul, keeping it as pristine as the day it blossomed.

However, not all of them turned out that pristine on the inside. One in particular looked more attractive on the outside, but on the inside it was brown and dead.

Once again, don’t judge a book by its cover.

Considering that, a comparison could be made between the dead roses and people. For instance, some individuals have a better outward appearance than an inner one. Some guys, for example, have the face of an angel but the heart of a demon.
On a better note, the opposite is true, too. When someone lacks in looks, usually their personality makes up for it.

The roses taught me that, or rather, reminded me of that conclusion I made a long time ago.

Another way of looking at it is that sometimes life and beauty can come from hard times, like dealing with death. Even the seed must die to grow into a redwood.

Sometimes before accomplishing our greatest triumphs we have to hit rock bottom to appreciate them more, to appreciate the struggle and hard work to get there.

That’s life for ya.

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Over the last month, my world has been turned upside-down and every which way imaginable.  Granted, it was I who put it all in motion, but I’m rather glad it’s all happened.

Learning isn’t always easy, especially when emotions are involved.  I’ve learned from seeing people around me, two in particular, that letting go is the hardest part of growing up.

But, if we dont’ let go, we never mature.  If we don’t let go, we never learn to walk on our own.  If we don’t let go, we never grow up, and we’ll continuously rely on others to make our lives easier.

Some people just never understand that concept until you ignore them completely.  No matter how much you try to explain it to them, they won’t let go.  That’s when all connections must be cut and let them learn the hard way.  That’s tough love.

Experience is the greatest teacher, and don’t let anyone tell you different.

Writers become immortal because they write.  Musicians become legends because they sing.  Artists become famous because they’re inspired.  Dancers become prima ballerinas because they practice.
All of the above require experience.  Experience requires making mistakes.  Mistakes give way to knowledge.

You can’t gain experience when you can’t let go…

I’ve had to make adjustments this holiday season.  Working an hour from home resulted staying in Knoxville three days out of the week and driving back and forth to spend time with my family just so it can feel somewhat like Christmas.  My roommates went back home in Middle Tennessee, leaving me all alone.

One thing I’ve learned from coming home to an empty apartment at the end of the day is that I need people; I thrive off of people.  Growing up in a family of five made me used to having people around, and being the youngest, I’ve seen my family of five transition to a family of three then to an empty nest.  It wasn’t easy, but I got used to being the only one around.

Now I have to get used to, if only for a short time, being the only one left in a “family” of four.

Perhaps this will prepare me for when I move to NYC and live alone until I meet the man of my dreams … I’ll look at it that way.  Maybe I’ll submerge myself so deep in my career I won’t have time to think about it when I’m climbing my way to the top to be editor-in-cheif of Vogue (granted, the magazine still exists in 10 years. Epiphany: I need to take web design classes).

Either way, being alone is something we all have to cope with at some point in our lives.  But, being alone gives you time to discover something about yourself you’ve never known before.  I’ve learned that being alone inspires me to write blogs like this one.  It gives me time to think, to consider events in my life and to reflect on them.  I have time to finish reading a book or get caught up on The Office.  Even so, I thought I’d be perfectly happy alone.  Instead, I’ve discovered that it sucks.  It sucks big ones.

It’s not easy, but it’s part of growing up.

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Driving home this Sunday afternoon out of sheer spontaneity (well, close to it) made my heart race and sing out to a clear blue sky and trees adorned with bright red, orange and yellow leaves.  It’s autumn time in Tennessee.

I come from a place where everyone knows everybody else, much like Andy Griffith’s town of Mayberry.  There’s a total of maybe 4 red lights (one of which shouldn’t be operating, but that’s just my opinion) and a “downtown” consisting of a courthouse, post office and the corner ice cream/antique shop with a quaint barbershop next door complete with a barber pole on the side.  Imagine all that, plus three schools, a Hardee’s, Sonic and gas stations nestled inside rolling mountaintops guarded by a regional prison where my dad has worked for some 20 years now.  That’s where I come from:  Wartburg, Tennessee, a population that can fit inside Neyland Stadium with room for the rest of the county to spare.

The drive home Sunday showed me views I missed since moving to Knoxville.  Farms with old barns, junked-up cars (even an old camper, you know the ones, with a big “W” on the side) and the occasional sight of horses or cows made for perfect scenery.  With the car window rolled down driving on highway 62, I could smell the leaves blowing past my Ford Focus as I negotiated turns that weren’t made for the speed I was going at (It’s OK Mom, I do it all the time — I just wanted to get home to that homemade sourdough bread of yours).

Why I decided to go home Sunday only to drive an hour back to Knoxville I have no idea.  I suppose the simplicity of rural living called me back – in only a way homes can – to enjoy the changing of the seasons down by the river with friends, sharing warm kisses between sips of hot cocoa with Lance and watch the boys throw football under a canopy of gilded leaves.  Little treasures like that remind me that goodness does exist in a world of murders, theives and chaos.

I always enjoy stepping back into my warm childhood home after the brisk autumn air chills my skin.  There’s usually a warm, home-y aroma mixed with bread and cookies fresh from the oven and the promise of hot cider and wassail waiting to be enjoyed.  After reuniting with Fido and Nala after being months apart, Mom greets me with a warm hug and we make our way to the living room where the fireplace is warm, or the back porch where we can enjoy the weather, and simply catch up on our lives.

There’s a song that conveniently played on my iPod yesterday in the car, and I found it to be fitting.  It’s from a local band I’ve mentioned before, Christabel and the Jons.  It’s called, “Thankful.”  I’d say it was my theme yesterday…

“This is where I feel the most at home,
Rythym of the water, so nice and slow…”

“I’m thankful, so thankful, for my life..”

I drove past where my grandparents used to live before they passed away about ten years ago.  It hit me like a ton of bricks how much I missed them… my fondest memories of them are from this time of year and Christmas, when my grandma started cooking for an army of countless children, grand children and great grand children… Grandpa would always “test” the food… she would always get on to him for it… “Harold, get your finger outta that!” she’d say..  I remember she’d always sit in her rocking chair crocheting a doll or blanket for someone and watch The Price is Right (back when Bob Barker was the host.  It’s just not the same with Drew), Wheel of Fortune or during the day, Matlock.

You could always feel the love in their home.  It was small, but full of warmth – especially on those deep, cold winter nights.  My fondest memory I believe was when I was a small girl.  It was Christmas, and Wartburg’s Christmas parade was still something spectacular at my age.  That night was especially chilly, and I sat in Grandma and Grandpa’s old grey Ford to stay warm with Grandpa.  After the parade, we all went to their house (literally just across the woods from our house) for sweets and hot chocolate.  I don’t remember much except for what I told you just then, but I do remember everyone was happy.  I remember Grandpa laughing or at least smiling that big gummy grin of his (he had dentures but decided against wearing them — ever).  Grandma, of course, had a kitchen full of cookies, chocolate and treats I wouldn’t dare eat in one sitting today.  Everyone was there, and it was the perfect definition of family.

It was a tradition for a while with my immediate family after Grandma and Grandpa passed away to stay in an old, rustic cabin for a few days at Thanksgiving in the mountains somewhere.  Brandon and Steph were in school at Gardner-Webb University seeking their Masters of Divinity (they got it, by the way), so we always chose somewhere in Western North Carolina.  The first cabin we stayed in was tucked away somewhere in Black Mountain, North Carolina (I think) nearby Chimney Rock (again, I think it was Chimney Rock.  It was wherever they filmed Last of the Mohicans, I know that).  Unfortunately for me, I had tonselitis that year and didn’t get to enjoy it as much as I would’ve liked to… except for the fact that I thought I puked up my tonsils… but that’s another story.
Anyways, all six of us piled around a small kitchenette complete with a picnic-esque dining room table (I told you, this cabin was old and rustic) and shared Thanksgiving dinner that year.  The next morning, we awoke to snow flurries.  It was perfect.  There was just enough snow for a light 3/4 of an inch dusting, but not too much to worry about driving conditions.  We all took a walk through the woods among mountain laurel and a babbling brook that ran beside the cabin.

It was beautiful.

I hope to one day have the same kind of love and warmth that my family has had over the years.  It would only be right to carry on the family tradition.  It seems that not many families share that same love anymore, and that’s sad.  What the world needs now more than anything is love, sweet love.

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You only live once

Love. Life.

Embrace it. Make it yours. Grab it. Love it.

Take nothing or no one for granted. We are all in this together; no need to hurt each other.

Everyone has feelings.

Watch the sunset and stay up for the sunrise. Each day is a fresh start, a fresh beginning.

Experience things you otherwise would never experience.

Fly. Fly to the moon and back and live to tell about it.

Eat slowly. Savor each bite. There are people in the world that would die for what you’ve been blessed with.

Travel. Go places you’ve always wanted to go. Truly.. live… and enjoy it.

Grasp opportunity and never let go.

Dream big, or don’t dream at all.

Make your dreams realities…

Judge no one. Deep down, we’re all the same.

We all hurt.

We all suffer.

We all cry.

Most of all… we all LIVE.

“You only live once…”

Make the most of it. God gave us all one chance to live… don’t screw it up. Make the most of it.

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