Saturday, September 29, 2012

Oh Dear Lord, What Am I Getting Myself Into...

In my everlasting search for living and not just existing, I have decided to participate in something that every single friend of mine who knows how much I love to write has (and knows what this month-long event is) has encouraged me to do. I have always made excuses, ranging from “It’s too hard” to “It’s the beginning of the holiday season! Do you know what that means to anyone that is a manager in the retail/food industry?!” (Insert a shrill sound of panic for that last one.)

However, this year, I have decided to not only do it, but to commit to it openly and to talk about it. I usually keep what I consider to be personal commitments to myself. Partially because of my intense fear of failure, but mostly because as soon as you admit to committing to something others may not understand, all the negativity comes out. “Well why would you want to do that?” “It just sounds hard and you probably won’t finish.” “Aren’t you just adding a lot of unnecessary stress to an already incredibly stressful time?” (Again, shrill sound of panic.)

So, in the effort of not only committing to something openly and putting my possible failure out there for all to see, I am also jumping ahead of the negative people who will hear what I am doing and say: “Go share your Haterade with someone else.” (Or possibly something with some expletives, depending on the level of pessimism.)

I will not let anyone’s negativity or questioning of my ability to do this deter me from what I am going to do. If I can’t finish, then that’s ok because getting out there and trying is half the battle. Therefore, if I die in battle, at least I will have gone down with some dignity!

Ok, I know, the suspense must be killing you. What is this great thing I am doing that I am committing to so openly and vehemently?


AKA: Novel November

AKA: Write 50,000 words of a novel from November 1 to November 30.

AKA: Write almost 2,000 words per day…

AKA: Write almost 2,000 words per day in a genre in which I am not completely comfortable nor have any idea for a plot or characters or theme or setting or…

AKA: I AM ALREADY STARTING TO FEEL THE STRESS!! (Just kidding. It’s more like excitement…I think…)

 Ok, I need to breathe.

Why, you may ask, am I going to do this?

Well, mostly because I want to do something that will push me mentally and creatively. I spend a lot of my time supporting my friends in their creative endeavors, but rarely do I ever push myself to do the same. I am always encouraging others to do the things they love and go after their dreams, but I have noticed recently that I have trouble doing the same thing for myself. This is the first big step to doing this.

I also have to say that I am making an effort to do things that are outside of my comfort zone. I am taking a Country Line Dancing class (don’t worry, there is a post forthcoming about that) and trying out some new classes at the gym, but mentally there is very little that I have done since college to push the boundaries and see what I am truly capable of.

The best part? This costs me nothing but time. It may mean that my DVR will be working on overtime (Wait? I can’t watch as much TV??? I may need to back out now…) or that I can’t spend every evening off at karaoke (Ok…now I’m really rethinking this whole bit…), but as long as I make a plan and stick to it, I know that, at the end of November, whether I hit the goal of 50,000 words or not, at least I gave it my all.

However, if How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, Two Broke Girls, Law and Order: SVU, or any other of my favorite shows gets cancelled, I’m never going out of my comfort zone again!

Now I have one month to figure out what the hell I’m going to write about for 30 days, 2,000 words a day.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Some Advice from My Elders

There are so many reasons I enjoy spending time with my grandparents. They have the best stories and somehow we always get into a heated (but healthy) debate. Plus, there are these chairs that I have been begging for since I was a kid…but that’s another story.

While I was there, Grandma offered to take me to lunch if I would drive her on some errands. Since I always love a free lunch, I obliged. While we were at lunch, Grandma decided to give me some advice about dating. To be more specific, how to “hook a strong, supportive man.” She told me that the reason I always find the men that I do is because I am a strong, independent woman. “Too strong and independent,” she said. “You are so good at taking care of yourself and being dependable, these men think that you’re going to just care of them too. So, you need to work on being weaker. “

I busted up laughing. She started laughing also, but she kept going. She said that I didn’t need to ACTUALLY be helpless, but men just want to feel needed, so if I do things like asking for a ride or for a man to pick up something heavy, then he’ll feel needed. Then, after we spend time together and he falls in love with me, then I could start to slowly show him how independent I really am. He then would feel good about himself by thinking he helped me grow. I would have a man who was strong enough to handle and support me, and I would still be my same strong, independent self.

The conversation ended with a lot more laughter, most of it on my end. Grandma did laugh and see how ridiculous this sounded, despite sticking to her guns and thinking that this advice was sound.

Later that day, I went to the pool with Grandpa.  I told him about Grandma’s advice, and he found it incredibly funny just like I had. But, after a few moments of silence, he said, “Well. Maybe your grandma has a point. You should get a cane.”

The entire population of the pool stopped their conversation, tanning and swimming to turn and stare at the crazy woman laughing so hysterically with an old man in the shallow end.

“You would be surprised how great people are when you have a cane,” Grandpa continued above my laughter. “They open doors for you, offer to carry your bags, help you down stairs and out of your seat. They usually like to talk to you while they are helping you, so if you had a cane, you could find some nice man who helps you.”

“Sure, Grandpa. And then if he turns out to be not such a nice guy, I have a weapon to beat him off with, right?”


Grandma didn’t quite support the idea when we told her over dinner, but she did appreciate his attempt to help her in fixing my love life.