blossom and bloom

bloom

A lot has been floating through my mind lately.  From seizures to medical procedures to just…a lot of weird stuff, it’s been a rough past year – but I’ve learned so much about myself already.  That I’m capable of becoming what I want, that I can chase and catch up to my dreams, and that putting positivity out in the universe means it will come back around to you.

My therapist said he can tell I’m so much more confident than I used to be.  I’m finally getting used to my body and loving that despite all my medical flaws, but I’m finally here.  Years of dysphoria from ballet have lessened, and I have a very healthy attitude of “This is me and I’m not apologizing for it anymore.”

The last 4-5 months have been a roller coaster.  Someone I never expected to come along did despite my strong desire to stay single/not even get into the dating scene.  Ever since, I’ve been on a roller coaster that seems like it never ends with him.  I’m about to rent a house, and getting utilities established in my name is a daunting task.  I’ve been through so much back-and-forth this week that I’m exhausted.  I need a nap daily.  But what gets me through is that the house is one I’ll be proud of, one I’m ready to come home to and to be happy, to be relaxed.  I’ll even have a craft room.

Speaking of crafts, I’m starting up my home crafting business again soon.  For a while back in 2009-2010, I created and sold crocheted goods at Kami-con (back then, held in Tuscaloosa).  I undercharged by a lot, according to the calculator websites I’ve been using, but it was a good learning experience.  When the festival up in Steele, AL – Cukorakko – starts, we’re hoping to rent out a booth or table to sell stuff.  Anything to help with rent and still being able to live life.  I love handcrafted goods.  Everything is unique, and everything has a piece of the maker’s heart in it.  (That’s why it’s so easy to want to keep things…)  I’m also getting back into painting.

So many times I’ve thought, “am I ready for this?” And the answer is: of course.  I’m 27.  I am grateful for my mother letting me stay in our house as long as I needed, but it’s time.  To walk into the living (ha) room and see the spot where my father died and his mother before him is painful.  In the back of my mind, I can never separate that from the way the room is now.  His final expression still haunts me.

He would be thrilled for me, for my future.  When I think about how he would have thought about my life path, I feel nothing but warmth.  His high school graduation card to me read something to the effect of, “keep being just the way you are and you’ll be able to accomplish anything in life.”

I’m not perfect by any means, but I have drive.  I have ambition and a tender heart and a pretty good sense of humor (unless I’m in a bad mood).

Every day I’m working on blooming from within.  I can only see myself blossoming more from here.  With every test life throws my way, I learn something new about myself.  And there’s nowhere to go but up.

speak of the devil

Jumping off my post before last, back to epilepsy!

December 8, I was working on one of my two papers due for the end of the semester.  I was stressed, worried about graduation the coming Saturday the 12th, and about the paper.  I had a paper due the next day as well — both of which were to be 15-20 pages — so as you can imagine my mental state wasn’t the best.

Around 10:30pm I had a seizure.  Of course, I didn’t know anything until I woke up to my mom telling me I’d had one, and making sure I was okay.  Again, we searched for my glasses and once they turned up and I rested for a few minutes, I resumed my paper, determined to finish by the midnight deadline.

I finished it just before midnight (but at what cost?), and god only knows how it ended.  I only made it to 14? maybe? pages, and I haven’t read it since.  I emailed my professor the following day and explained why the ending might suck.  She commented that it did end a little “unceremoniously” but not in a bad way — I still ended up with an A in the class, so it must not have been too terrible.  At least the first twelve pages of the paper made sense.

You’d think that’s it, but…

Later that night, around 2, I had another seizure.  I was still awake at that time, which was surprising given the postictal state is usually one of heavy sleep.  I woke up breathing extremely hard and practically on my stomach, and I remember mumbling to Mom (who had come in again) that I was tired of being woken up to hear I had a seizure.

She decided to take me to the emergency room after the second one (because it was previously unheard of for me to have more than one in one day), and everything checked out fine.  I got a CT scan, got prescribed some klonopin, and went home to rest.

By the time graduation came around Saturday, I had two dark-purple black eyes and a scratch on my cheek.  I think patrons at work thought I’d been abused.  Thank god for Ben Nye concealer, as I was able to hide that mess for graduation.  When I walked across the stage I practically danced.  After a harrowing week of feeling like crap, my mind in another world and not allowed to rest up after that first seizure, I still graduated.

Whenever I think about how I’m not sure I’d survive something, or I think I can’t do it, I just remember that I walked for graduation and finished two papers the week I had two seizures in a row.  I can do anything.

 

it’s real, the pain you feel.

Well hey there, WordPress, it’s been a while.  Mostly because for a while, I was writing things that weren’t blog posts, but lately, it’s because I haven’t been writing ANYTHING.  (PS: Writer’s block sucks.  It is quite possibly the worst thing for a writer, ever.)  I’m hoping a blog post will get the creative juices flowing again.  I’ll let you know if it works.

I’ve had an idea of what to write for a while now, but again, never got around to it (obviously).  I was thinking about college and graduate school a while back, and how, just after my dad died, I kept thinking about how I had to finish college because it would have made him so proud, and how proud it would make my mom and family and everything, but mostly my dead father.  Who could care less because he’s dead.

Do you see where I’m going with this?  I had some vague notion of “honoring his memory” by finishing college and finishing it well, with good grades and all that, when really, it isn’t about my dad.  It never was.  It was me not realizing that I could finish college and make good grades and graduate with honors because I wanted to.  Because I wanted to prove not only to other people but most of all to myself that I’m capable of that.  That I’m capable of what I never did in high school because I was lazy, and that I’m capable of hard work and the benefits of said hard work, and I succeeded.

By the end of my time at Montevallo, I wasn’t thinking, “Wow, Dad would be so proud of me.”  Well, I did sometimes, of course I always had my “what would Dad think of me now?” in the back of my mind, I’m sure I always will to some extent.  But most of the time, it was, “I’m proud of me.”  It was no longer about carrying on a legacy.  In college, I was proud of the woman I’d become.  I was happy that I could be a hard-working student with a knack for writing and putting in the effort that my professors appreciated, but also make time for watching entire series with my roommate, and going home on the weekends and seeing my family and enjoying my free time (or sometimes, making free time when I didn’t really have it, but hey, I did fine, didn’t I?).

And with graduation, I heard so much of, “Your dad would be so proud of you,” sometimes with an ‘is’ instead of a ‘would be’ – you know, the expected.  And that’s great.  I agree, he would be.  My still-alive family is, but most importantly, I am.  I used to be afraid of seeming like I was bragging about having graduated.  But my friend Ali once said something to the extent of being proud is nothing to be ashamed of because it IS a big accomplishment.  So, there it is – I am proud of me!  Of my accomplishments and my perseverance and my overall strength (because let’s face it – sometimes I’m not really strong, at all, but overall, yeah, I think I am a pretty strong person) and my good qualities!

***

So, that brings me to Part II, and I guess the meat, of this post: grad school, or lack thereof.

I, like an idiot, only applied to one grad school, and what’s considered an elite one at that.  And, spoilers if you didn’t know: I didn’t get in.  I have the grades, but for whatever reason, they didn’t accept me, and I think a large part of that is lack of experience (but I have yet to find out what got me booted out of the acceptance pool).  And coming to terms with that has been, and remains to be, really, really hard.  I should have applied to more so that surely SOME kind of acceptance would come and I wouldn’t be really soul-crushed like I am right now.

Actually, I’ve fallen into a big rut with being rejected from the only place I applied to, and why I didn’t apply to more than one haunts me daily.  Every time I put on my work uniform, I hate myself for not applying to more than one place.  I was lazy and decided I was so tired of having to deal with the stupid rigorous application that I just left it at the one.  And as a result, I dug my own Unhappiness For At Least One More Year grave.  Which is not necessarily true.  I COULD get a job at a local library (and have the possibility on the horizon, but haven’t gotten a callback from the interview yet) and love it and get paid better and it challenge me intellectually and not be completely unhappy with my life.  But as I see it, it’s just stagnating.

It’s no secret that retail is crummy.  You get to deal with people who act like the world must stop for them and complain to corporate about dumb crap and who act like the smallest mistake is the biggest deal in the whole world.  You get to deal with ten-year-olds speaking condescendingly to you and bossing you around, because guess what?  THEY are the customer.  You get to ask the same questions over and over and pretend to give even half a crap about complete strangers’ problems while dreaming of handling old documents in an archives department or even just shelving books, for god’s sake.  Repeat ad infinitum.  I have an infinite number of stupid mistakes I make at work, simply because I’ve turned my brain off.  Retail isn’t the type of work that really requires a lot of critical thinking.

Recently, my coworkers have gotten each other into this show called Weeds, you’ve probably heard about it in some fashion, and Nancy, the main character, says this about working as a manager of a maternity clothes store:

I wake up in the morning, get dressed, drive myself to work, put on a name tag, take my brain out of my skull and place it in a drawer. I spend the next nine hours staring at people, pretending to be interested in their happiness, tolerating the company of my co-workers, staring at the clock. At the end of the day I take my name tag off, open the drawer, reach for my brain, plop it back inside, walk to the employee parking lot and drive myself home. And it’s really, really boring. And it looks like I’m gonna be doing it for a long, long time.

That sums up my feelings on retail, too, and of the pit a combination of my own poor decisions, a sinking global economy, and bad luck I’m currently stuck in (preposition at the end of a sentence aside).

But it’s a job.  It pays the bills.  I’m grateful for the means to pay my own crap and help with household bills and give back to the woman who’s provided so much for ME all my life.

But at what point is my unhappiness not worth it?  I can’t quit, like that’s just not in the cards, because of bills and hard economic times and all that crap.  And it’s the worst feeling in the world.  Because I’m just stagnating.  I’m not growing intellectually, I’m not being challenged.  I miss college SO MUCH because on a near-daily basis, I was growing intellectually, I was being challenged.  I’ve been reading a lot, and I do have some intelligent coworkers that I have meaningful conversations with, but how much can you talk about interpreting the events of history or what the color red means in a book or whatever, while you’re at work, pretending to care about peoples’ problems and asking repetitive questions that have no significance on your own life at all, over and over again?

Little to none, that’s how much.

And as a result, I can think of no other word to describe me right now other than “stagnating.”  And I’m trying to find my way out of the labyrinth of suffering, and the solution isn’t forgiveness this time (Looking for Alaska reference), it’s finding a job relevant to my interests and future plans and getting the experience I need to get out of this stupid labyrinth and do something I really love.  And why is that SO hard?  To ‘build character’, whatever that means?  Okay, I get it, I appreciate the plight of the retail worker now.  I respect those I, frankly, already respected (because I’ve never been bitchy to retail employees like people have been bitchy to me and my coworkers, I’ve never chewed somebody out for the stupid crap we get chewed out for).

I think I’m angriest about graduate school because I can’t escape, at least not for a little while longer, unless I get a job in a field I care about (and by god, I’m trying).  So for now I’m just still stagnating, despite all the efforts I’ve made to try and intellectually grow.  I’m having panic attacks often because of customers, and you know what pisses me off the most about it?  Nobody takes it seriously.  Tough shit if you have social anxiety and withdrawal but are forced to deal with people who think their problems are the end of the world.  Tough shit if you have a mental breakdown over a customer whose infirmities remind you of your dying father.  Nobody takes it seriously because you’re just a worker in a company whose goal is to make money and you can be replaced.  And that’s the way of the world, yes, I get it, I understand that and the corporate machine and capitalism and I’m not looking for coddling or lullabies or a band-aid or whatever – I’m just looking for something that challenges me in a non-psychologically-damaging way.  And it’s hard to find.

And you know what would do that?  GRADUATE SCHOOL.  But because of poor decision-making and bad luck and a sinking global economy, I can’t achieve that goal just yet.  What’s the point of being proud of my accomplishments if they aren’t getting me anywhere?

So, I don’t really know what the point of this post morphed into.  I guess that life’s hard, wah wah, cry more.  But I’m allowed to be disappointed with things in my life that I can’t change on a larger scheme at the moment, whether for lack of money or lack of opportunity.  And I’m allowed to express these in a blog post that nobody has to read if they find me whiny or whatever.

But I AM trying to find my own way back into using my brain.  Falling from the cloud of “wow college is awesome” onto the pavement of “wow the real world sucks” has really given me an idea of what I DON’T want to do for the rest of my life.

Now, I’ve just go to try my best and take every opportunity that’s offered and get out of the labyrinth of suffering and of not using my brain as much as I can with being broke.  The ball’s sort of not really but still kind of if you turn your head and squint your eyes in my court now.  It’s time to keep trying to do something about it, because what else CAN I do?

I’m not saying I’m unhappy with every aspect of my life right now.  I have plenty of things that I enjoy and look forward to, and things could be a lot worse.  Before you call me whiny, know that I do appreciate the things I have.  I have a lot of amazing people in my life who make things not-completely-horrible.  Things could be so much worse, yes, I know this.  In some ways I AM privileged (though tumblr has made me really start to even hate that word).  I get it, I do.  I could just be a lot happier in ways I know are doable, I just have to achieve those things, and as I said, the ball is not always in MY court.

On a good note, though, I’ve finally got an idea for a tattoo for my dad.  It’s about time, too.

(Sidenote: WordPress’s new layout SUCKS, seriously, way to make your blogging site much harder to use and, oh I dunno, BLOG with??  Seriously, ew.)

circus girl without a safety net

Go, go, go, go now, out of the nest it’s time
Go, go, go now circus girl without a safety net
Here, here now, don’t cry
You raised your hand for the assignment
Tuck those ribbons under your helmet, be a good soldier.
First my left foot, then my right behind the other—

-Tori Amos, “Mother”

***

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been a bookworm and I’ve loved to write.  I’ve been writing as far back as I can remember and often used to go Young Authors’ Conferences to share my oh-so-thrilling tales of cats or NASCAR or whatever I used to write about.  I still write stories often (as in, I have a ton of notebooks filled and many files that I’ll never get the guts to publish sitting on the hard drives of every computer I’ve ever owned or used), and I don’t think I’ll ever not write.  When I was a kid I narrated my life in my head—“She turned on her heel and angrily stomped down the hall of her middle school as she left her friend to think over the note she’d written,” etc., which seems weird, but I’m sure someone else has done this before.  Maybe you’ve even done it.  I certainly won’t judge you if you have, because I catch myself doing it even now if I’ve been reading a lot.

But because of this, I’ve kind of always thought of my life in chapters.  Not specifically most of the time, but when I’ve had a drastic life change or even just a traditional shift toward something else, I’ve thought of it as “one chapter ending, another beginning”—kind of similar to the “when one door closes, another opens” proverb, just with books, in a language I’m incredibly familiar with.  It gets confusing, though, when chapters can start within chapters.  Within the overarching chapter of my four-year experience in a challenging, college-oriented high school were chapters of friendships, relationships, and events all of their own; my dad’s illness could have been a chapter all in itself but not only falls under the high school umbrella, but the summer between high school and college and then the beginning of the college chapter.  Even the after-effects of his death carry over to today.  It’s hard to determine where chapters begin and end, and that’s why this system is a little flawed and why I don’t restrict myself to it.

I’ve always felt like my life was pretty textbook, even though experiences make people all different.  But as far as experiences I’ve had, I don’t know if my life would make a great movie.  I mean, it’s got all the makings of Hollywood films these days—drama, romance, adventures (small ones but adventures nonetheless), tragedy, overcoming tragedy and ending in success.  But the story isn’t over.  Now, as I start my graduate school journey (which, admittedly, I should have started back in December, but too late to change that), I look forward to a new chapter.  But where should it begin?

If I get into Chapel Hill up in North Carolina—my number one, dream-grad school choice, I will be, of course, moving up to North Carolina and living with my aunt.  I’ve been reluctant to talk about how excited I feel because I will miss so many things about Alabama—Birmingham and Montevallo both.  My roots are here, I’ve lived in the same house since I was one-and-a-half, and before then my parents and I lived in a house literally a street away from the current one.  This house was my grandparents’ house, and I share land in Pinson with my sister that’s been in our family since my dad’s grandfather.  So, I have a lot of connections to Alabama and I know—it’s just in my personality—I will get homesick so much while I’m up in NC.

But at the same time…I’m ready.  I’m ready for a change of scenery, ready for a fresh start, even though I’m terrified.  I’m shy, despite how I sometimes can come across, and generally socially awkward, and theoretically, I won’t know anybody in my program.  When I went to JCIB, I knew a few people from my W.J. Christian days, even though I only ever became close to one of them my sophomore year—all my other friends and relationships were with people I met in high school.

The same goes for college (though I never dated anybody there)—I knew a few people, but ended up hanging out mostly with people I met at Montevallo.  But that’s not going to be the case up in Chapel Hill.  Of course, I’ll be living with my aunt and my cousin and uncle and other aunt and uncle will be in the state and surrounding areas, but school-wise…I won’t know anybody.  And that’s kind of what I’ve wanted for a while.  This combined with a more confident-in-myself me, a me who’s finally emerged as an individual with a ‘self’ even if that ‘self’ is comprised of my experiences, others’ influences and their experiences, and my own personality—as is everybody’s ‘self’ if you ask me—makes me eager to test out the Real World Me.

And honestly, I don’t even know what the ‘Real World Me’ means.  I’m not going to change; I’ll still be the books-loving, writing-loving, video game-loving, anime-watching person I’ve grown into being.  But testing it out on people I don’t know at all is the scary part, I guess.  I have the chance to forge an identity and I don’t want it to be one that I end up being unhappy with, but how can I change myself that much?  Am I happy with who I am, with the main character of my life?  Yeah, I really am.  I’ve overcome a lot, I struggle a lot day-to-day with my patience and depression and overall happiness, and of course I have things I want to change about myself both physically and mentally and behaviorally—who doesn’t?—but overall, I’m okay with who I am.  But I’ve stagnated here in Alabama, and I don’t feel myself growing as an individual anymore like I want to, and this certainly plays into how I feel about leaving.

But I guess I just recently realized how excited I am for the potential to go where nobody knows my name (except for, of course, my family up there) so that I have the chance to really and truly meet strangers for the first time.  Undergrad at Montevallo really did help me establish myself as my own person way more than IB did (probably because at high school your personality is still so malleable and really indistinct) but Chapel Hill will be the penultimate chance for this I get—or Greensboro, or wherever I go to graduate school if it’s not in the state of Alabama.  And I’m excited.

But I’m also scared out of my mind.

Well, here’s to the chapter titled ‘Graduate School Preparation’, subtitled ‘Acceptance or Rejection.’  Let’s hope it’s a good one with a happy ending, the Acceptance ending.  Because don’t we all love happy endings?

First, my left foot, then my right behind the other…

My November 23, 2011 Resolution: Never stop learning.

So I was just reading this article, and I got a feeling I haven’t remembered feeling in a long, long time.

You see, when I was little, I read encyclopedias like crazy.  My grandmother bought me this really awesome, big encyclopedia in which I first read about the sun’s fate to become a red giant in 7.5 billion years, then cool to a white dwarf (which freaked me out as a 6-year-old, I tell you what), but I reread and reread it all the time, always learning things I’d missed the previous times.

When I would read these encyclopedias, I would read about places like Australia and New Zealand and their natives (for some reason, Oceania has always fascinated me as a place, who knows why?) and other places too!, and always get this leap in my stomach, almost, like it was something I wanted to learn about forever and ever.

Then I read atlases, and just studied my globe – another gift from my grandmother, I believe – all the time.  I would just sit in my room and stare at it.

And I just really sometimes (okay, all the time when I’m reminded of it) feel like I should have majored or should go back to major in archaeology and/or anthropology and linguistics and geography, because I love ancient cultures and indigenous stuff and languages and I always have.  I always get that feeling that I never want to stop learning and I love history, I’m so glad I majored in it, but almost everything I took was Western-biased, and of course not much at all was ever taught about prehistory or early-early history of these places and I know some of that is from lack of information but still.

This sounds so stupid but phrases like

Her speech was rich with words of the natural world, words of the forest and the sea that some linguists suspect date back tens of thousands of years to the first migrations of man.

and

Like some other indigenous groups on this archipelago

…I mean simple phrases (and words, like “archipelago”) like that just really get me excited to learn about this sort of stuff.

I really have always loved history, geography, anthropology, even from an early age, and I never consciously really thought about it.  I mean, I’d be a medievalist if I went into history as a profession (Ph.D.-level), so it’s not like I’m not biased toward the West, too, but reading stuff like this always makes me want to become a prehistory-historian (does even such a thing exist?) or anthropologist or archaeologist and I probably never will, and it makes me sad.

The world is so full of depressing things and I think it made me so sad when I grew up and realized all of these things that went on, like British colonialism – and other colonialism of course but Britain was like, the Queen of Colonization – and world wars and all of that, that it’s very easy to forget the feeling of loving to learn these new things about an indigenous people, even if it’s a sad fate – like the one of the article.

I just love the study of human culture and humanity and its earliest days and it’s so fascinating to me that we’re all from one part of the world yet we all look so different and speak so many languages and I don’t know if I’ll ever stop feeling like this when I read about this stuff that I love.  I think that’s why the quote at the top of my blog is one of my absolute, all-time favorites, and why I’ll never stop quoting it — “What invisible strings connect us all,” from Avatar: The Last Airbender. This is the kind of stuff that will forever fascinate me.

I just want to get the motivated to want to read about this stuff again, to just spend an afternoon in the library reading encyclopedias, looking at and studying atlases, looking up recent archaeological digs, that sort of thing.  But it’s hard in the day of the internet and working and paying bills and just “being an adult” things that really take so much joy out of the life I had as a child.  I hate being cynical and hearing about depressing current events and being a (mostly) responsible adult, but things change, I guess.

But maybe one day, I’ll spend an off-day at the library, doing these things, feeling that new fascination and leap in the pit of my stomach at all of the new information I absorb.

We’ll see.

whutevah, I do what I wawnt!

After making an emotional post on tumblr about my dad, I realized two things:

  • it’s been a hella long time since I’ve posted here
  • I should probably post here.

So, what’s been going on in my life since I made the announcement of my plans to do NaNoWriMo on August 2 (whew, okay, that’s not as long as it’s been since I’ve posted on Livejournal, that’s okay, that’s just a little over a month, right?), you may ask?  Well, a whole buncha nothing.  I’ve worked, gone to Texas (more importantly, a beach in Texas – most importantly, an island in Texas), worked some more, and oh, I started playing World of Warcraft…oh, and I went to a club for the first time.  That’s about it, though – as far as life-changing events, I have undergone few to none in that time-span and these days my life is spent on tumblr, WoW, worrying about money because god, paychecks sure do go fast, and picking up bowling again.

So, what do I have to write about?  Well, who’s surprised – it’s -dun dun dunnn- my dad!  Sort of.  He’s kind of just a mention in this post, which  instead is going to attempt to focus on my blog itself (and by attempt I mean the good ol’ “paper attempt” – that is, I start out with a topic, a rough idea of things I want to cover, and before I know it, I have eight pages of stuff I’ve come up with while attempting to write the actual point of the paper…much like this parenthetical aside. whoops!).

My friend and manager, Kevin, has this blog he is currently calling “Hannah and Caroline and The Little Kumquat and Me.” Now, he’s had this blog longer than I’ve known his brother-in-law/my ex-boyfriend and therefore his family/him, and has said multiple times he made it as something to give to his first daughter Hannah as a way to show her a glimpse into her father that she may not see during the day-to-day routines – and I certainly hope I didn’t butcher what he’s said before, and if I have, I’m deeply sorry – really!  It’s a really cool idea, an excuse to start up a blog, and an excuse to continue blogging.

But it got me thinking…or rather, thinking about my dad and this blog and how I’ve neglected it lately got me thinking.  If I showed my future daughter/son (I’m hoping I have one of each, so…both?) my blog from my college/just-after-college year(s, because I’d love to continue this for years, and I’m really going to make the effort to), if the internet is even still around, what would they think?

Wow, Mom, you sure do talk about your dad a lot.  Was Grandpa REALLY that great?  Christ, did you ever see a therapist?

NaNoWriMo? HAH, good one – isn’t this your ninteenth attempt?

But I haven’t written solely about Dad.  I don’t know why I’m even remotely self-conscious about him being the subject of so many entries – I suppose because I don’t want to rehash the same stuff over and over again without coming up with new thoughts or feelings or realizations.  I guess part of me doesn’t want to seem fixated on it all, because if I have to be honest (and I do, I mean it’s my blog holding me accountable, right?), I don’t think of Dad very much in the grand scheme of things during my everyday routines.  Don’t get me wrong – I think of him at some point everyday, whether it’s something someone posted on tumblr that reminds me of him, or a South Park episode about NASCAR, a sport he loved (the only sport he loved that much, probably?), or a song that plays in PSP that reminds me of him.  No matter what, there is always SOMETHING that reminds me of him or makes him pop into my head.  But in terms of getting depressed about him, crying about him – these things happen rarely these days.  In a way, I’m glad, because it would be awkward of me being in customer service to start bursting into tears every single shift.  It helps that I have amazing family and friends to keep me from fixating on being sad, too.  It’s good that – no matter how much I complain about customers – I have work to keep me busy.  And tumblr, and WoW, and drawing, and writing – all of these things are great.

But I wonder how much my future children would see of my general moving-on-from-Dad’s-death I’ve done.  Would it seem overwhelming?  Do I really care?  His death defined my life in a way – it’s not the only thing that defines my life, I mean I’m not Taylor Swift whose songs pretty much only have to do with being a teenager and dating someone and he broke her heart and she’s not a cheerleader and blah blah blah predictable – but it’s one of my biggest life-events, right up there with graduating from IB and then graduating from college and my seizures.

But I’ve realized something.  My fear is not that my children won’t find another topic than my father in this blog – because my categories to the side of this “post an entry” page prove that there are other topics – but rather, I fear they will see it as a negative thing.  That they will see it as “our mom obsessing over losing her dad/our grandfather” instead of how I want them to see it, how I want anyone who reads my blog to see it – that I was lucky enough to have such a wonderful, caring, good man of a father, who still had his faults (because please, god, let me never completely sanctify him like people are wont to do about deceased loved ones – the man had a temper, and a terrible habit of falling asleep during a NASCAR race and then getting pissed later if we turned it off since he wasn’t watching it), that I wanted to share with the world some of the light he brought into my life, and to share how deeply it affected me.  He meant that much to me that I write about him often; he is remembered and loved still in my mediocre blog-writing, which can hardly do him justice but attempt to do so.

I want to teach them that all fathers out there aren’t horrible, because they will almost surely meet somebody or hear of somebody whose father abused them, who is no father to a daughter or a son.  The amount of poetry discussing abusive (sexually or otherwise) fathers to the amount of poetry discussing wonderful fathers, fathers like mine – is extremely disproportionate.  And I get it.  Writing is a wonderful outlet for pain, but sometimes the good guys need to be highlighted too.  More than anything, I want my children to know how great their grandfather was, how he was one of the kindest souls one could ever meet.  I want them to have a glimpse of him, and not just think, “Wow, Mom really should see a counselor about her obsessing over Grandpa.”

He’s just a character of my blog…but he’s a major character.  More people than I think realize are major characters of my blog in so many ways, and I hope my children get a picture – no matter how brief – of how their mother never allowed her sad experiences keep her from enjoying life, because despite the number of entries involving my dad, they are ways of keeping him alive and sharing his love with as many people as she can.

Isn’t that a fair reason?

“You found a Purple Rupee! That’s 50 Rupees!”

If you follow me on tumblr, Twitter, or Facebook, chances are you know I bought a 3DS on June 17, and the Ocarina of Time 3D remake on June 20.  I’d prepaid for OoT with some of my graduation money because let’s face it, I’d been looking forward to this game for years, but I still had yet to purchase a 3DS.  I was holding out, hoping they’d release a ~special edition~ for the OoT release I just hadn’t heard about (and let’s face it: the games for the 3DS pre-OoT were terrible), but by the time I got paid Friday the 17th, I figured they weren’t going to release a gold one or whatever, so I trekked (read as: drove) to GameStop before work, walked in, took a deep breath, and when the guy behind the counter asked me what I needed, I said, “I would like to buy a 3DS” (to which he responded “Awesome!”).

Now, let’s get one thing straight: I have never paid more than $60-70 for anything video games-related.  Well, I’ve bought video games separately that add up to more than that, and a hard drive for my Xbox 360, and a wireless adapter for it – all on separate occasions – but when it comes to one-time purchases, I have never spent over $70, much less $249.99 plus tax (unless I’m forgetting something).

The 3DS was, indeed, $249.99 plus tax, and since tax in lovely Roebuck is ten percent, that was $24.99 tacked on, so I ended up spending, in one purchase, $274.98.  Ouch.  Add in the trip to White Water Limbo was taking the very release day of Ocarina of Time, June 19, and I had about $30 to last me until my next paycheck, which hasn’t even come yet (well, it’s tomorrow, but I set up direct deposit, so 2am-ish tonight, so close enough).  Add in gas and meals, and that’s really not much.  At all.  I ended up with something like $11 by the end of the White Water trip (excluding the $26 I had already accounted for in cash for the ticket), and since, I’ve been asked by Mom if the 3DS “was worth the three-hundred dollars.”

My answer is: absolutely.

The very day of my big purchase, I was closing with Kathy.  Now, I have this thing about me that when I buy something that’s pretty expensive and probably not necessary, I feel huge, major guilt.  Be it shoes, video games, whatever – if it’s a semi-big purchase, I end up feeling guilty no matter how much I’d been looking forward to it or whatever.  I can only imagine what’ll happen when I buy a car or a house.  Anyway, so I later expressed to Kathy that night that I felt like I shouldn’t have gotten the 3DS.  She exclaimed, “Why?!  It’s really cool, and aren’t you getting a game for it?” And I told her yes, that I’d already prepaid, etc., but still felt bad.  She said, “In all the years I’ve known you, you never splurge on things.  You deserve this!  You need to do something nice for yourself every once in a while, and I think you deserve this!”

And I thought, you know what, I do deserve it.  I graduated from college, and I have a job and I can easily (well, if one considers dealing with sometimes-difficult customers ‘easily’) make back the money I’d shelled out anyway, and she’s right.  I rarely splurge since Dad died.  Money goes mostly to gas, food, paying bills, whatever I need until my next paycheck.  I don’t mind helping out at all – after all, I live here, so why shouldn’t I?  But she was right – I deserve to treat myself every once in a while…and it had been a while since I’d spent anywhere near that much money (aside from post-graduation gifts but I mean paycheck-money) at once.

But was the 3DS worth it after all?  Well, I already answered that, so yes, but why, exactly?

First of all, Ocarina of Time, first released in 1998, is my favorite game ever.  I’ll explain the reasons for that in a separate post, but in short, the storyline is amazing, there’s character development with both main and minor characters, and it’s fun.  You get to travel back and forth through time, rage at the hard-as-hell Water Temple, and have some really awesome (and infuriating) boss battles.  It’s one of the best games probably ever because it was so revolutionary for its time and the N-64 (still the best system IMO, so many great games and stable as everything – I still play mine often), and really opened the door for other games like it (such as Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, the following game released in 2000, which required an Expansion Pack because of the sheer awesomeness).

So when I heard they were remaking and re-releasing Ocarina of Time for the 3DS, I groaned because I’m pretty tired of the 3D trend going around, but was excited because I would get to play Ocarina of Time anywhere I wanted to.  Do you understand how amazing this is to me?  Well, no, because you’re not me, but if you’re a gamer and you grew up loving OoT as well, you’ll understand still.  And oh. my. GOD.

OoT 3D has far surpassed my expectations.  The 3DS was worth it alone, just for the OoT remake.  It has a special feature, too: when you beat the game, you unlock Master Quest.  I never had Master Quest for the Gamecube, so this was like a dream come true (even though I heard MQ was horribly difficult, and it’s pretty tough but not horrible – I’m about 3/4 of the way done).  So not only do you have amazing new graphics, you have new textures, new patterns, a few new Easter eggs, and 3D, which I’ll admit, is pretty damn cool for OoT.  They did a really good job of making the right things pop, and sometimes I turn off the 3D just to compare, and always end up turning it back on.

I’ve enjoyed the game so much already.  I really had my doubts about it being so much better than the original, and I hate when people say “oh I’ll never go back to the N-64” or whatever, but…I kind of feel the same way now.  The N-64 OoT is great.  I have my best game files on there, including one I’ve had since, like, 7th or 8th grade.  But…I can’t carry it everywhere.  I can’t look in awe at the gorgeous detail and textures they’ve patterned the walls, the floors, carpets, torches, gates – everything – with on the N-64.  I can’t marvel at the Temple of Time’s sweet design.  It’s so insane to look at comparison pictures.

And not only have they released a remake of OoT, but they’re soon to remake and release within the year: Starfox 64, Mario Kart 64/DS, Super Mario 64/DS, and God only knows what else.  This is gonna be great…and since it’s a Nintendo product, I KNOW it will last.  My fangirliness for Nintendo is obvious, and I love them for many reasons, but I think my favorite reason is that their products are so damn reliable, and they make their products to where one can play the previous system’s games (at least, starting with the GameBoy Advance/SP and the DS, and the Gamecube and Wii).

While I had my doubts at first, now I can say with all honesty, yes, the Nintendo 3DS, which cost me $274.98, was worth it.  I have definitely earned the money back in terms of playtime and enjoyment, I still have many more hours to play the game before I beat Master Quest, and I only look forward to the upcoming remake games, though none can beat Ocarina of Time (even if they remake Majora’s Mask).  I’ll be a Nintendo fangirl for life…yet I still don’t have a Wii.  (Still played Twilight Princess, though!)

No regrets, at all.