Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy 2006!!!

It doesn't feel like a New Year. Perhaps it's because I didn't have any amazing New Year's Eve plans. I spent most of the evening at work, and the rest of it with my fabulous friends Julie and Phyllis. Quality girl time that far surpasses any party. Or, perhaps it doesn't feel like the proper season for a new year. Today, Phyllis and I took advantage of the near-80 degree weather by taking a walk at a nearby park. And sweating. Weird. But, I suppose the new year will arrive regardless of my feelings as to whether or not it ought to be arriving.

I wonder what this year will bring? Many changes, that's for sure. I'll be graduating, finding a job, and starting my life as a real person. Scary! But I know I can do it. I'm starting this year feeling much more confident and sure of myself than I ever have. As I told Julie and Phyllis tonight, I am very happy with the person that I am right now. That is a very good feeling. And I know that God has a plan for my life. He will take care of me, no matter what happens.

Friday, December 30, 2005

"The truth is...with you, I'm in real danger. It took like a perfect situation, apart from that foul temper of yours --but my relatively inexperienced heart would, I fear, not recover if it was once again...cast aside, which I would absolutely expect to be."

So eloquently spoken to Julia Roberts by Hugh Grant in the movie Notting Hill. I wonder how many writers it took to pinpoint my precise feelings at this moment? Obviously, my situation is a bit different from the character who spoke these lines. I am not a male, British, travel-book store owner who is being propositioned by a famous American actress. I do, however, think I understand how he must have felt. What to do, what to do? The character in the movie eventually decided it was worth the risk. The question is, do I?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Back in Abilene. Not sure if that's considered coming home or leaving home...Hmmm...

My room is currently a disaster area. I seriously can barely move from my door to my bed without falling over something. Perhaps this is a situation that should be remedied in the near future...

Today was a good day. A lazy day...but a good day. I spent most of the day with Phyllis. Good times. We met up with Stephen tonight at Rosa's. Yummy. Then we came back to my apartment and recited Aladdin. Seriously. We put the movie in and quoted it word for word from the beginning until the genie turns Aladdin into a prince. We probably would have made it through the entire movie, but Stephen sacked out on us, and after he left, it just wasn't the same. Sad day. At least he bought us Sour Patch Kids to buy himself back into our good graces. :)

After the movie, Phyllis and I talked for about 2 hours about life. How different things are now than they were a year ago. How different things are likely to be another year from now. Different ways people go about trying to figure out life, and whether or not those are valid ways. Faith. What it means to different people. God. How he speaks to people. Ways He has spoken to each of us. Lessons He has taught us and the ways He's gone about it. It was a good talk. I'm definitely very interested to find out what kinds of things God has planned for my life in the coming weeks, months, even years. I feel like I'm on the brink of life. Anything is possible...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 life is officially confusing. Really confusing. Long story. Let's just say I'm doing a lot of thinking and praying these days trying to figure out what the heck I'm supposed to do.

Christmas was wonderful. Always fun to see the fam and extended fam and be lazy. And eat lots of food.

Last night I got to catch up with a friend from high school who I haven't seen in about 3 years. It was fun. Weird to think how much has changed since high school. Growing up is weird.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!!! :)

Friday, December 23, 2005

Hooray for the holidays! The fam arrived today. A house full of my relatives equals craziness and fun times for all. Tonight the siblings and I played the old-school Nintendo version of Family Feud. Team Brake vs. Team Brymber. (We're so clever with our name combinations, I know.) I am proud to say that Team Brake was victorious, despite Brandon's questionable spelling abilities. ;) I made quite a grown-uppish purchase today. I bought a new computer. Eek! I don't feel old enough to be allowed to buy such things. I get to pick it up tomorrow. I am excited. :) <--Me, being excited. I am also excited that tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I love Christmas, even though the temperatures have been hovering around 70 the past few days and it feels quite the opposite of the way Christmas ought to feel. I guess that's what I get for living in Texas!

And now, I must get some sleep. But I leave you with this little piece of inspiration from the show Daisy Does America: "I would give my liver, my spleen, my gallbladder for you!" And that my friends, is no lie! :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today I am 22. It feels no different from being 21. I like birthdays. I always get really excited about them. Only I think I tend to get more excited about other people's birthdays than my own. I like to tell people Happy Birthday as many times as possible throughout the course of the day and make fun birthday cards and such. It would be a little weird if I did these things for myself. People might think I have some sort of mental issue.

I'm not really sure what I will do for my birthday this year. On Monday, Phyllis took me to eat at Applebee's and we went to see The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. That was a fun pre-birthday celebration. The waiter at Applebee's sang to me and brought me free dessert and didn't believe I was really 22. It was fabulous. And the movie was extraordinary. Go see it. Now. Today, I am going shopping with my mom and we will probably go eat or something later. Should be good times!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

"My God and I go in the field together.
We walk and talk as good friends should and do.
We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter;
My God and I walk through the meadow’s hue.
We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter;
My God and I walk through the meadow’s hue.

"He tells me of the years that went before me,
When heavenly plans were made for me to be.
When all was but a dream of dim conception
To come to life, earth's verdant glory see.
When all was but a dream of dim conception
To come to life, earth's verdant glory see.

"My God and I will go for aye together.
We'll walk and talk as good friends should and do.
This earth will pass, and with it common trifles,
But God and I will go unendingly.
This earth will pass, and with it common trifles,
But God and I will go unendingly."

The stars shine over the earth.
The stars shine over the sea.
The stars look up to God.
The stars look down on me.
The stars may shine for a million years;
A million years and a day.
But my God and I will live and love
When the stars have passed away.

This song popped into my head last night during the 2 hours or so that I could not seem to fall asleep. The first thought this song brings to mind will forever and always be circle devo at Sooner Youth Camp. That was always my favorite part of camp. The end of the day, the entire camp standing in a circle in a field, holding hands, looking up at the stars, and singing our hearts out to their Creator. Yes, this song will always remind me of the wonderful memories and wonderful friends made at dear ol' Sooner Youth Camp.

But as I thought about this song last night, I thought of it in an entirely different context. I thought about what the song is actually about. The song is not about my friendships with other Christians; it is about my friendship with God. It's kind of weird to me to think of my relationship with God in terms of a friendship. I suppose it shouldn't, but if I'm honest with myself, I tend to think of God as being outside my immediate world. I envision Him as this huge presence that is somewhere up there looking down on everyone here on Earth, watching us from afar. But the more I think about it, the more I think that is a totally inaccurate vision of the relationship God wants to have with me. He wants to be my friend. He wants to be a part of the details of my life. And I want Him to be a part of them. I guess in a way I feel like God is so big that He doesn't have time to deal with my petty issues. I know this is not true. I want to be friends with God. I want to walk with Him, to talk with Him, to laugh with Him. (Sidenote: I love the thought of laughing with God. It drives me crazy when people think that any sort of conversation with God must me completely serious and somber. Surely God must have a sense of humor, or He wouldn't have given us one. Why not share a few laughs with God?) So, yes. Friendship with God. Definitely something worth pursuing. Now the task at hand is figuring out how that plays out in daily life.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Today I had to go to work...twice. I went once this morning at 7am to work a breakfast party. I got home at noon, slept until 4, got up, showered, and went back to work at 5:30. Holy goodness.

I have decided my workplace is hazardous to my health. I am covered in bruises incurred while moving tables and chairs repeatedly to various locations throughout the club. I have cuts on the tips of 2 of my fingers from polishing mirror tiles to use as centerpieces. These cuts were aggravated by the lemon juice that got in them while I was cutting lemons. I turned my thumb black from burning it on a lighter I was using to light candles for the party we had tonight. And my feet hurt from being on them all day. Enough complaining, you say? Ok, I'm done.

Tonight there was a bit of excitement at the wedding reception I was working. The flower arrangement on the table with the groom's cake caught on fire. No joke. Some men attempted to swat it out with a napkin, and we finally had to dump a glass of water on it. No severe damage was done; just a few blackened rose petals. But this lady made me prop open the door behind the cake tables to allow the smoke to escape because she feared it would trigger the sprinkler located directly above both wedding cakes. Wow. That would have been some kind of memorable wedding reception...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I think something is wrong with me. Last night, I thought I'd be good and go to bed early so I wouldn't sleep away half the day today, as has become my habit. Good idea, right? Yeah, I thought so too. Apparently my body disagreed. I laid in bed, wide awake, for approximately 3 hours. I think I finally drifted off somewhere around the hour of 2am. Sad! And, as a result, I didn't wake up until 12:40 today. Grr!!! Perhaps I should lay off on those late-night Dr. Peppers...

But my day was not totally wasted. I cleaned the entire apartment today. Hooray for clean living quarters! There has been a need for cleaning in our little apartment for quite some time, but Michelle and I have been so crazy-busy lately, there just hasn't been time. We haven't even seen each other for longer than about a minute in like a week and half. I miss my roomie!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

This song just popped into my head:

"Love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, Give it away.
Love is something if you give it away.
You'll end up having more.

Love is like a lucky penny.
Hold it tight, and you won't have any.
Give it away, and you'll have plenty.
You'll end up having more."

Funny how all the cute little songs I learned when I was a little kid seem to be the ones with the messages I most need to hear now that I'm a not-so-little kid. Hmmm...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Marie Claire has the best horoscopes ever.

Your life in the next 12 months:
You're still on that extended, long-distance flight toward your new life. Your chart shows you expanding your interests and traveling far from home in 2006. You may be stressed out and exhausted at the moment, but the immediate future won't be nearly as difficult as the immediate past was. Quiet time is important; reflect on the extra baggage you've recently shed--not just lost, but actively decided to leave behind. Within the next four months, your path will change when you strike up a new job-related relationship. By summer, you'll take a crack at a groundbreaking new venture. This is the year to disregard what others expect and do your own thing, in every facet of life. If you're not interested in being a solo act, keep forming alliances with those who understand you.

What to change in 2006:
When faced with a big decision, you tend to worry too much about what other people will think. Be assertive! You're entitled to do just as you please.

Now, if only I believed in astrology...but I think I'll keep trusting my life to the Creator of the stars, not the stars themselves.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I love Christmas. And I love Christmas decorations. Especially Christmas lights. But sometimes, people go overboard. You know, covering every square inch of yard with enormous Santas and snowmen and angels, etc. I think the worst are those giant inflatable things. I just don't get those things. Are we celebrating the season, or selling used cars? Let's keep it tasteful, people.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I still like Pride and Prejudice. This time, the old version that takes up at least 5 glorious hours of a person's life. Mr. Darcy makes me swoon. To have someone look at me the way he looks at Elizabeth...I might melt directly into the floor.

*Note to self: Sappy chick flicks are not the equivalent of reality. Snap out of it!*

I don't have to go to school tomorrow. I don't have to go to work tomorrow. I don't have to study tomorrow. What will I do with myself? I'm sure I'll manage somehow... :)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Today, Julie and I ventured out into the bitter cold to go see Pride and Prejudice. Ah, what a beautiful, beautiful movie! I love the way the characters speak. I wish that I could speak in such a style without being answered with looks of total bewilderment from the majority of the population. "You have bewitched me, body and soul. I love....I love...I love you. I wish to never be parted from you, from this day forward." ~Mr. Darcy to Elizabeth. *swoon!*

In the past two days, I have made the acquaintance of two of the friendliest fast-food employees I think I've ever encountered. Yesterday, as Sarah and I partook of the goodness that is Chicken Express, one of the employees came over to our table and engaged us in a riveting, 10-minute conversation about college, the price of college, paying off college loans, and finding jobs after college. Today, the lady who took my order at Wendy's chatted happily with me about the weather, the status of my Christmas shopping, and the status of her Christmas shopping. After Julie and I were seated, she came by our table to make sure we were satified with our meals, and lowered the shades on all of the windows near our table so that we might not be blinded by the afternoon sun. As we left, she wished us a good day after making doubly sure that I did not, in fact, need a refill on my Dr. Pepper. The sad thing is, my initial reaction to both of the instances was not one of appreciation for their pleasantness, but rather one of judgmental surprise that they should feel the right to impose themselves into my life in such a way. I now regret that my thoughts should have taken such a course. There's nothing wrong with being friendly and showing a genuine interest in the life of a fellow human being. My apologies and gratitude to these inspirational members of the fast-food industry.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Good things that happened today:
  • Took my last final of the semester
  • Spent 7 hours of my day with my good friend Sarah
  • Spent the next 4 hours with my good friend Phyllis
  • Got to talk to my future Latin lover online
  • It was cold enough to wear winter clothing

Sad things about today:

  • My hands are still frozen, after being inside for 30 minutes
  • My apartment looks like a disaster area
  • Still don't know what my future Latin lover looks like, or how to speak his language
  • Didn't do my 3 remaining ERI tests, meaning I have to do them all tomorrow

Things I'm looking forward to:

  • Hanging out with the lovely Julie Sosebee tomorrow
  • Seeing Pride and Prejudice
  • Reading the 5th Harry Potter
  • Not having school for 5 entire weeks
  • My birthday
  • Christmas
  • Meeting my future Latin lover...just kidding...or am I??

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Happy Birthday Michelle!

So close to being done with this semester! Hallelujah, Praise the Lord, Amen.

There might be snow/sleet/ice tomorrow. Three days ago I walked outside and started sweating. Texas is weird.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Finals week status: one down, two to go.

I think I did really, really well on the final I had today. Let's hope the goodness continues.

Last night I had an emotional breakdown for no apparent reason. I had had a good day, and wasn't anticipating anything beyond the horrors of finals on the horizon, but for some reason I just felt hopeless and empty. I started thinking about where I was this time last year: exactly the opposite from where I am now. I was incredibly happy. Everything in my life was going better than I ever could have imagined, and my relationship with God was strong and central in my life. And now, here I am, a year later, and feeling the lowest I've ever felt. The very things that were the source of my happiness a year ago are either gone, or worse, contributing to my feelings of despair. As I lay in bed, crying, wishing I had someone to talk to who would understand my feelings and make me feel better, I realized that no person can do that for me. True, I have people who will listen and be sympathetic and encouraging, but the only One who can truly know how I'm feeling is the One who created me. The One who designed me with the ability to feel these feelings. At first I ask, "Why, God? Why do you allow me to feel this way?" And then I realize: I am allowed to feel this way so that I will reach a point so low that the only way to look is up. And when I look up, I see God, waiting patiently for me to realize that He has been there the whole time, waiting for the moment that I will realize He is the only One who can take the pain away and heal the brokenness. God, I've reached that point. I'm finally realizing that You and You alone are the One who can bring true joy. I'm sorry I took so long. I'm ready to let You have control of my life again. Things seem to work out better that way.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Christmas season has arrived, signaling the beginning of the most entertaining time of year to work at a country club. There are parties every weekend bringing out all sorts of Abilene's finest. Tonight we had a group of military officers in one room and the staff of the Saturn dealership in another room. I always love looking at what people wear to these things. Last year we had a lady who, I kid you not, had fake toenails. Why? What's the point? Tonight, in the same party, one lady was wearing a black evening dress, and another lady was wearing jeans and a sweater. Variety is the spice of life, I suppose.

Things get especially entertaining later on in the evening when everyone's got a few drinks in them. Last night I had a guy tell me he thought I was the prettiest girl they had working there. Tonight, I had a guy tell me I looked like I had some Indian in me, and while he tried to guess which tribe I was from, his friend kept trying to come up with reasons that I needed legal counsel and informing me that he, a lawyer himself, would be more than happy to help me out. I also witnessed two men come very close to throwing some punches at one another, but then resolve their differences and spend a good 15-20 minutes telling each other how much they love each other, with occasional hugs and kisses on the forehead and cheek thrown in for good measure. Meanwhile, their innebriated wives sat on the floor nearby, immersed in conversation and apparently oblivious to what was going on. Oh man...I love my job.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Tonight at work I had to clean up bodily excrement that had been smeared all over the floor and toilet in the women's bathroom. Not even joking. That was totally not in my job description! Oh well. Sometimes life stinks...literally.

Today I had to meet with some of my clinical instructors for clinical evaluations. It was kind of weird. I walked into the first teacher's office, and she thrust a packet of papers into my hands. It was a checklist of the various skills, concepts, etc. we were to have mastered this semseter. I scanned through it, most were checked under P for passing, with a few NI for needs improvement. Ok, no big deal. Then at the end was a handwritten section of things I needed to work on. One of them was developing confidence. Ok, I can go with that. Another was establishing a support system. What? Underneath this statement was a bulletted comment saying I needed to find a shoulder to cry on. I'm sorry...While these are valid concerns considering the semester I just endured, I find it very odd that they would be mentioned on a clinical evaluation by an instructor with whom I never discussed the situation surrounding these needs. I think it's nice that she is concerned about me and all, it was just strange. Mostly because she never came out and said what it was she thought I needed support concerning. After I read the evaluation, she asked if I had any questions or anything I wished to discuss further. No, I didn't. So she handed me a pen to sign off on it. As I signed it, I mentioned something to the effect of it being a very overwhelming semester for me. She nodded and said the thing for me to do was to spend a little bit of time each week over break reinforcing the things learned this semester. She told me that many nurses have gone through the same thing as me and been very successful. She completely lost me on that one. But by this time, I was feeling sufficiently awkward, and decided not to press the subject. I signed the paper and moved on to the next office where I had to be evaluated for my community health class.

The second evaluation was no less awkward than the first, and possibly more so. For starters, this teacher is more than slightly intimidating to me. As I entered her office, she asked if I had filled out an evaluation for a community clinical site. I stared at her blankly. Apparently I was to have evaluated one of the sites I visited for community clinicals this semster. Huh. Interesting. Having not fulfilled this requirement, I was sent next door to retreive the appropriate form to fill out. This teacher was meeting with another student, and I didn't want to interrupt, so I waited paitently in the hallway. Apparently I took to long. Suddenly I heard my name being called from the office I had just left. So I returned and told her the other teacher was busy. No problem, we'll just go ahead with the rest of the evaluation. Next question: what did you do for your service learning hours this semester? Um....I thought we didn't have to do service learning this semester? It wasn't in the syllabus. Apparently I should have inherently known that service learning hours are always required. Oops. So she asked me if I had done anything that could be considered service-like during the semseter. No, as a matter of fact I couldn't. I don't really see myself as being above serving my community or anything, I just honestly couldn't think of anything I had done that hadn't been required for class already. She brainstormed a list of possible activities I could have performed that would count. I had done none of them. Fortunately, she checked me off anyway, under the condition that next semester I perform two service learning activities. Yes ma'am. I was finally released to go fill out the site evalutation form that I knew nothing about. Feeling duly frustrated with the events of the previous 10 minutes, I hastily evaluated the worst clinical site I could think of: the elementary school where the nurse sent me home. I gave the site a very poor review, and ended with some comments about the less-than-friendly manner of the nurse there. For some reason, this made me feel slightly vindicated.

Holy cow. This semester needs to end!!!