Dance, as if no one is watching.

As to dancing, my dear, I never dance, unless I am allowed to do it in my own peculiar way. There is no use trying to describe it: it has to be seen to be believed. […] Did you ever see the Rhinoceros, and the Hippopotamus, at the Zoological Gardens, trying to dance a minuet together? It is a touching sight. — Lewis Carroll

and,

No one dances sober, unless he is insane. — Cicero

Sometimes, when no one is home, and when I’m cleaning the house, I turn the music up really, really, really loud.  And dance. Like a maniac.

And then, I feel better. And like I can do anything, and be anything.

Songs I Love #10: Sunday Edition

In high school, I was somewhat of an idiot. I did well in school, was liked by my teachers and had a close group of friends. When it came to boys, however, I was an absolute idiot. And a glutton for punishment.

This is where I say I’ve had enough
and no one should ever feel the way that I feel now.
A walking open wound,
a trophy display of bruises
and I don’t believe that I’m getting any better, any better.

What can I say? I was young. Stupid. I was all about throwing myself, headfirst, into glass walls of broken heartedness and felt totally confident that my little, easily crushed Pisces heart would totally die without JerkFace in my life. I spent days upon days crying. For no reason. We’d break up, we’d get back together, we’d break up, we’d get back together.  It was never-ending cycle of suck.

Wandering this house
like I’ve never wanted out
and this is about as social as I get now.
And I’m throwing away the letters that I am writing you
’cause they would never do,
I would never do, never.

I guess when you’re in that place, in that soul-crushing teenage love sort of place, the rose-colored glasses are really, really thick.  You don’t see all the bullshit. You don’t listen to the rumors about all the girls he’s been with while he’s been with you. You believe it when he says he loves you, when he says he needs you. You feel bad for doubting him when he cries, which, you later realize he knows how to do on command.

So don’t be a liar,
don’t say that “everything’s working”
when everything’s broken.
And you smile like a saint
but you curse like a sailor
and your eyes say the joke’s on me.

I think there are certain relationships, certain types of people everyone should experience. Despite the soul-crushing, heart-breaking, breath-stealing suck of it all, I learned A LOT. I learned I don’t need to be defined my someone else, and that I should, in fact, be valued as a person. All good things to know.

I spent a lot of time screaming this song. Crying to it. Pushing myself to just. fucking. leave. already. And still, every time I hear it I’m immediately filled with angsty teenage hostility.

Song: “Saints & Sailors” by Dashboard Confessional

*Writing about 25 songs I love is #46 on my 101 in 1001 list. See the previous songs I’ve written about here.

The End Is Near!

Way back in March of 2007, I started the 101 in 1001 challenge. I made a list of 101 goals I hoped to complete in 1001 days, or, roughly 2.5 years. November 26, Thanksgiving, is my 1001st day. I’ve got exactly 41 days to finish my goals. And now, seeing as it’s the middle of October, I’m realizing that it’s just not going to happen. But maybe that’s okay.

The biggest lesson I learned while attempting this challenge, is that life changes. A lot. Two and half years is a long time. A lot can change.

I got married (for the second time – shhhh, don’t tell anyone!). I started my first real job. I bought a house. I landed a great job. I went back to college.

Life happened.

I wrote, in 2007, “Buy a House” as number 56 on my list of goals. But I never thought it would happen. Not in a million years. It was a stretch to say the least, but it happened.

I never, in a million years, expected things to just fall into place. When Andrew and I left Kosovo in the first week of November 2007, we didn’t have a house. We didn’t have jobs. We didn’t even have a plan. And yet, somehow, someway, things happened. Things worked themselves out.

What’s Left to Accomplish:

7. Get another tattoo. 

13. Pay off my car.

14. Update my will. 

22. Collect at least 50 quotes that inspire me. [34/50] 

24. Go on a road trip by myself. 

28. Discover 5 new poets who inspire me. [1/5] 

29. Create a scrapbook about the Kosovo deployment. 

34. Buy a fire proof safe.

35. Write letters to David and Joe, then burn them. [0/2] 

41. Go out to dinner by myself. 

43. Stay a size 4. 

46. Make a list of at least 25 songs that mean the world to me, then blog about each one. [8/25]

47. Take a class that is totally unrelated to my major, just because. 

48. Get a library card. 

49. Re-visit New York City.

50. Get waxed.

53. Visit David’s grave. 

61. Become a big sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters. 

65. Go back to Asheville, NC. 

72. Go back to Athens, Ohio. 

88. Donate at least $100 to charity. [$65/$100] 

94. Read at least 15 banned or challenged books. [8/15] 

100. Drive part of the Skyline Drive. 

101. Start over with a new 101 in 1001 once this one is complete. 

Twenty-four goals. That’s almost 25%.

I better get a move on.

101 in 1001

Mission Statement

Start: March 1, 2007
End: November 26, 2009

Striked – Completed
Bold – In Progress

1. Send a secret to Post Secret. [8.21.08]

2. Adopt a dog. [4.07.08]

3. Stargaze. [10.09.09]

4. Swim in the ocean. [1.15.08]

5. Blog at least three times a week for 20 weeks. [20/20] [Done week of 5-11.8.07]

6. Participate in the 26 things project. [March ’07]

7. Get another tattoo.

8. Bake a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. [5.06.07][see them]

9. Create a big collage and actually display it. [Created January ’08]

10. Host a dinner party. [June ;09]

11. Move away from home. [February ’08]

12. Visit 5 states, other than my own. [6/5][Michigan May ’07; Nevada + Arizona January ’08; North Carolina October ’08; South Carolina February ’09; Wisconsin July ’09]

13. Pay off my car.

14. Update my will.

15. Successfully complete Warrior Leader Course. [9.18.07][Tell-All Tale Part 1, 2, 3]

16. Sew something with my sewing machine. [1.22.08 – A pillow.]

17. Go back to college. [8.24.09]

18. Visit a lighthouse. [April ’09]

19. Vote. [11.04.08]

20. Take at least one picture a day for a full month. [4.07.07] [Go Look]

21. Plant a tree. [April ’09]

22. Collect at least 50 quotes that inspire me. [34/50]

23. Go on road trips with one of the most important people in my life. [May ’07]

24. Go on a road trip by myself.

Songs I Love #9: "Grapevine Fires" – Death Cab for Cutie*

You know how sometimes you’ll be listening to the radio and then a song will come on and you’ll just want the whole entire world to SHUT UP so you can listen to it without distraction and how all you want is to stay in that moment, with that song wrapped around your brain for forever and then, when the song ends, you just don’t feel quite as whole, or quite as safe and you contemplate turning around the driving home just so you can listen to it again and again and again?

The wake-up call to a rented room
Sounded like an alarm of impending doom
To warn us it’s only a matter of time

I have a lot of songs like that.

Sometimes I can tell you why I like a song, why it means so much to be. Sometimes I can pinpoint the exact memory it recalls, or the place I was when I heard it for the first time and realized it was chock full of awesome.

But sometimes I can’t. Not really.

And we watched the plumes paint the sky gray
But she laughed and danced through the field of graves
And there I knew it would be alright
That everything would be alright

This is one of those times.  I know that I love, LOVE Death Cab for Cutie all of a sudden. In fact, my Pandora station plays a Death Cab song 2 times out of 5. Which I love.

And I know that the talk of doom makes me like this song, regardless of how moody and angsty and goth that makes me sound.  I guess there’s just something about a song with the words “impending doom” in it that makes my heart flutter.

And the news reports on the radio
Said it was getting worse
As the ocean air fanned the flames
But I couldn’t think
Of anywhere I would of rather been
To watch it all burn away

I guess I’ve always liked fire too.  It’s kindness and warmth and it’s dangerous, totally destructive, I WILL ANNIHILATE YOU power. Maybe it’s the new beginnings that always float on the coat tails of fire’s destructive path that make me love it. Out of the ashes life springs anew? Maybe? Or that we’re all ashes anyway and to that we’ll return.

Whatever it is, I love it.

And the firemen worked in double shifts
With prayers for rain on their lips
And they knew it was only a matter of time

*Writing about 25 songs I love is #46 on my 101 in 1001 list. See the previous songs I’ve written about here.

Maybe I'll just wander into the wilderness

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I can’t breathe.  There’s been so much going on in my life that I can’t seem to ever get caught up. I want to say I’m a loner, and while part of me is, half of me is social butterfly and I haven’t found the word to describe a social loner yet. Oxymoron, maybe?

Have no fear
For when I’m alone
I’ll be better off than I was before

Monday we had six people over for dinner after work.  Tuesday we got home and went to dinner. After work today we’ve got a friend from work coming to stay the night.  It hasn’t left a lot of time for myself and thank goodness the husband agreed to go get some groceries and leave me alone because I am very nearly losing my mind with this being social mess.  I can’t ever seen to strike a balance between too little and too much.

I’ve got this light
I’ll be around to grow
Who I was before
I cannot recall

On the way home from work today, the husband  let me take a nap since I let him listen to music I hate.  But then he put on the ‘Into the Wild’ soundtrack. Which might be the most amazing and fabulous album of all time just because I love every single song. It makes me want to pack a bag and walk into the wilderness by myself and disappear.

Long nights allow me to feel…
I’m falling…I am falling
The lights go out
Let me feel
I’m falling
I am falling safely to the ground

Inevitably, my desire to walk into the woods makes me feel a twinge of guilt.  I mean, isn’t that selfish? I can’t leave everything. That’s just silly. I can’t leave the life I love to vanish. Right?

I’ll take this soul that’s inside me now
Like a brand new friend
I’ll forever know

Really, I just need to find a balance.  Maybe that’s what my 20s are for? Or is that something I’ll spend my whole life attempting to achieve?

I’ve got this light
And the will to show
I will always be better than before

Song lyrics from "Long Nights" by Eddie Vedder.