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Two Roads Diverged…

2 Sep

Have you ever been both supremely happy and sad at exactly the same time? Have you ever looked around while everyone around you is talking, clinking glasses, laughing, smiling…and you know that things will never be the same, that this very moment is the turn in the road and no one knows it but you?

I just came home from a party tonight. And, it was lovely, and joyous, and everything a party of its kind could hope to be. But, there is something about parties like this, that is so sad to me. It’s both an end and a beginning. But, what if you are more part of the end, the part that is being left behind? It’s such a conflict: celebrating and yet, knowing that it is also a goodbye.

Goodbye to what has been, who we have been, and a history that is now just that…the past. There will be new memories, new experiences, and a new us, all of which will be categorically different.

Have you ever looked and seen so clearly the change in the air? Have you seen the moment when two paths split?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and sorry I could not travel both.

Two roads. I guess Frost is right, but it’s a pity we can’t travel both. A pity that the nature of choices are that you may have one or the other. A pity that as roads further, they move away from each other.

It’s something bittersweet. A time of momentous change, growth and happiness. But, with that comes increasing distance from what was and who we used to know. What used to fit so perfectly becomes more difficult, until it becomes strange and alien.

Familiarity fades and so too will our roads behind us. There will come a point when you turn back…

And looked down one as far as I could          

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh        

Somewhere ages and ages hence

We’ll look back and all will be different. We’ll tell stories about what we remember. Imagine it because it’s no longer there to describe. It’ll be a memory from somewhere ages and ages ago.

© Copyright 2012 hairsprayandhemingway

One Lovely Blog Award

28 Jul

I am thrilled to announce that I have received the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you, Laura Maisey, for nominating me. I am so excited and honored! I have been following Laura almost as long as I’ve been blogging. She is witty and smart and her writing encompasses the everyday as well as her life as an academic.

The rules require that I reveal 7 things about myself and nominate 15 other blogs for the award. Hopefully I can think of 7 things of interest…

  1. This is my very first Award and my very first blog… 🙂
  2. I want to be a community college professor after I finish my masters/PhD. Where else can one find such a diverse population of people in all stages of life. Kids just out of high school, older folks returning to school, people planning to transfer, people who don’t yet know what they want to do… Amazing.
  3. Sadly, I’ve never been outside of the United States, something I plan to change as soon as I can.
  4. I dabble a little in drawing and painting. I posted one of my paintings, Bubbles and the Sea. It is also my banner for my blog.
  5. I am extremely afraid of bugs.
  6. I am the world’s worst beer pong player. I’m sure I have an award for that coming soon. I’ve played once in my life while camping with my boyfriend and our friends and I couldn’t make a single cup. Not one! We drank a lot of beer that day.
  7. By the time I die, I want to go on an African Safari, see the Amazon, have a croissant and coffee in Paris, and tea in London.

These are my nominees for the One Lovely Blog Award: (Congratulations!)

  1. Truth and Cake is just a fabulous blog; Rian’s writing is both authentic and eloquent. Her exploration of life is always unique, thoughtful, and fun.
  2. Gaudy is a collection of essays, letters, and other works from two Ivy League alumni. Don’t expect anything less than a delightful mixture of hilarity and what they call a “literary cocktail”.
  3. Words Become Superfluous Amb is a seasoned blogger, celebrating her 100th post coming up. Her blog is bright and full of energy. It reads like you’re talking to your best friend. What’s more lovely than that?
  4. Kristen Lamb’s Blog is a wealth of information from a bestselling author. Her blog is the authority on How-To in the world of social media.
  5. Blissful Basil  I was originally drawn to this blog because of the breathtaking photos of her lavender macaroons, but I stayed for the wealth of recipes, restaurant reviews, and because her site is just gorgeous.
  6. Discoveries in a Letterbox Quirky and original, this blog writes a series of letters to everyone and everything you can imagine. Most recently from an antique phone to an iPhone. It’s creative and fresh, a fun read.
  7. findfabulous The musings of a twenty-something on a journey to find fabulous. She was recently Freshly Pressed and for good reason!
  8. Eideard This guy knows everything! He posts 5+ times a day on current events and politics. His stories are interesting, well-researched, and his commentary, especially regarding Republicans, is always funny. Sometimes, it makes me laugh out loud.
  9. bottledworder When I’m in the mood for a short story, I make my way to this blog. He is truly a wordsmith, creative and talented. His most recent series of posts called The Writer is really worth checking out.
  10. the girl with the blog If you want to laugh, read this. She is hilarious! Sarcastic, biting wit is her specialty.
  11. Welcome to The Motherhood I’m not a mother and I can still appreciate this blog. She’s honest and funny. The blog sheds light on what people don’t tell you about motherhood and marriage.
  12. Tales from the Reading Room is described as “a literary salon where all are welcome”. The Reading Room is an intellectual/book person’s paradise exploring literature in every post.
  13. Lesley Carter‘s blog, Bucket List Publications, is just plain inspiring. If you’re feeling some wanderlust or craving some adventure, live a little through Carter’s jaw-dropping experiences.
  14. Fat Girl PhD follows woman in a PhD literature program on her journey to health and weight loss. She is a wonderful resource for health and diet information.
  15. People, Places, and Bling is a guide to shopping in lovely Paris. Wonderful photos and delicious content. If you are a Francophile like myself, this blog is a must read!

Phew!!

Thank you again for my lovely award!

I have 62 days.

24 Jul

I have 62 days. 62 days of summer. 62 days to my personal best.

Photo by Anthony Delgado

62 days until the beginning of Fall Semester.  Like elementary summers past, when I would lay out my new, shiny school shoes, brand new Jan Sport backpack and freshly sharpened pencils in preparation for the start of the new school year, this summer I’m going to refresh my metaphorical life supplies and be at my best by the first day of school. My 25-year-old definition of “at my best” is improved health, physical and mental fitness, and organization. I am not fat, not unhealthy, or any other extreme opposite that these goals may imply. I simply want to better myself.  These will be my focuses for the next 62 days.

I’m sure my definition of personal best will evolve as I age and change, but for now, these are the salient issues at hand. I’m not unique in my countdown to a personal milestone. I was first inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love along with the rest of the world, and then Gretchen Rubin’s pursuit of her personal best in The Happiness Project, and any number of weight loss and self-improvement shows on MTV, Bravo, etc. But the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back and inspired my personal spin on the docu-journey, the recently Freshly Pressed, Find Fabulous and her post Dirty Thirty: The List, where she outlines her pre-thirty bucket list of sorts. And so, along with many others, tomorrow I will embark on my journey to…me, but a freshly sharpened, shiny, new me.

According to Oliver Burkeman’s article, How long does it really take to change a habit?instead of the 21 days widely touted by self-help culture, it actually takes on average 66 days to change a habit. Though some might say 62 days is too short a time, the article explains that it really depends on the person. I say, I can! I have nearly the average amount of time recommended, but I make up for it with my enthusiasm. Where many have taken a slow stroll to change; mine will be more like a brisk jog.

Although I think of myself as fairly ambitious and moderately successful in achieving goals I set for myself, I’m focusing on these areas for a reason; they are particularly challenging for me, otherwise I would have already mastered them. That’s why I am enlisting the help of various experts in each area. Tara, is not only my boss, but a fitness and nutrition expert. She has had five kids and still has a better body than most 18-year-olds. She was the personal trainer for the mayor for crying out loud! I will be picking her brain for tips and accountability to aid me in my journey to better physical fitness, and of course sharing her secrets with you! I don’t like to bring numbers into this, because I just want to look better in my clothes and not be self-conscious in a bathing suit, but I think a ten pound weight loss is my goal.

My second expert is my best friend Shayla. Longtime vegetarian and self-taught health know-it-all, she knows things. I don’t know how she knows them or where she read them, but she’s like my own personal Google. I have texted her random questions with no expectation of an answer, only to find the pleasant surprise of a credible response and possible source link. During a recent tussle with my thyroid, I opened an email from her to find a journal article on the links between cruciferous vegetables and hypothyroid issues. Shayla will help me clean up my diet in a way that is sustainable for me.

My third expert is a fun one…it’s you! Yes, you reading this, you behind the keyboard. I can see you! No, I can’t; I’m just kidding. But, really, I will be reading, following, liking, absorbing, all the inspirational blogosphere content I can. I am determined to learn from my blogging peers and develop as a writer significantly by the time the 62 days are up. It was Kristen Lamb and her post, 5 Ways to Get Out of The Comfort Zone and Become A Stronger Writer, who initially inspired me in this area. I’m already an avid reader and academic writer, but before school starts, I want to flex my creative muscles a bit, become a more well-rounded writer and as Kristen says, soon I’ll be “typing with the big kids”. By the end of the 62 days, I’d like to have acquired 100 followers and maybe get a WordPress award under my belt.

Ok, so organizational skills is kind of a euphemism, for I’m disorganized. I always get the job done and I’m a really effective student and person, but that doesn’t mean I don’t make a giant mess in the process. We’re talking coffee mugs everywhere, clean laundry in the dryer for a day and a half. It’s not that I’m lazy; I think that my time management and organization skills need a little improvement. I start too many projects, take on too many tasks, underestimate the time it will take me to finish something, and before I know it, I’m 10 minutes behind, the dryer’s still running, and I haven’t packed my lunch. My expert in this area is my lovely, domestic friend Desiree. She bakes, she cooks, her house is always spotless, even her fridge is perfectly organized. I’m not saying I want to morph into Betty Crocker in 62 days, but someday I’d like to be able to feed myself without driving to a restaurant and her tips on scheduling and time management will no doubt be invaluable. Plus, whenever I go to her house, she has snacks. Through her expertise, Desiree will help me create a system that keeps me organized and maybe teach me a thing or two in the kitchen.

So, please join me, inspire me, teach me. Tell me your personal best story below in the comments. I LOVE comments!

© Copyright 2012 hairsprayandhemingway

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