Tag Archives: life

Questions

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Oh hey, WordPress. I broke my “post once a month” rule. Crap.

And here to make up for it is a list of asinine questions, none of which I really need an answer to, but they’re funny so whatever.

  1. Now that my ex-boyfriend is engaged to my ex-roommate, will he change his HBOGo password? Because my life will be ruined without full Jon Snow access.
  2. Is there any real possibility of convincing my parents to NOT vote for Trump? I’ve tried almost everything. Welcome to new ideas.
  3. Why are crime podcasts the best thing on the planet and am I a psychopath for loving listening to murder stories so much? My Favorite Murder and In the Dark are my latest obsessions–check them out if you’re a weirdo like me. Also, (not to answer my own question) I think I like them partly because they play into my extreme anxiety and constant paranoia. Now I can quote 1980s court cases if someone makes fun of me for locking my doors meticulously (and checking to make sure they’re locked).
  4. Why do rapists often times serve little to NO jail time? Everyone should watch Audrie & Daisy on Netflix…it’s sickening but important, for teenagers especially. I wish it were appropriate to show in my classroom–I’d love for my students to watch and learn about a) the true meaning of consent b) the horror social media can cause and c) the repercussions of your actions and how some mistakes can haunt you (and others) forever.

On that bright and shiny note, I leave you. Off to try a “salt cave session”…I don’t even know. The Groupon obsession continues.

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Dear Future Husband

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Dear Future Husband,

I’m sorry that you missed me in my prime, man. Damn I was FIT. I now value the happiness that bread and booze bring me over the happiness that my jean size used to bring me. I care a whole hell of lot more about making a friend’s happy hour celebration or checking out a new restaurant than I do about how many minutes of cardio I got in. I’ve accepted butt cellulite and you should too, sir. I still get carded sometimes, I’ll have you know.

I know what I want. This has been a little off-putting for some men–they want me to only want…what they want. To accept everything they say and everything they do, without question. I’m not that girl. I’m not easily suppressed. I have strong opinions, I stand up for myself, I tell you when you hurt my feelings and I tell you WHY. Thank you for loving that about me without being intimidated. I love the same things about you.

I’m no longer in a rush. I’m not going to settle for that dude who called teaching “such an easy job,” that dude who smoked way too much weed, that dude who spoke in teenager-slang, or that dude who wouldn’t stop talking about his huge bank account–I’m waiting for YOU, obviously.

Thanks for supporting my writing. Thanks for wanting to get to know my friends and family. Thanks for wanting more than just sex, but…ya’ know, thanks for also wanting sex. Thanks for being a foodie (thank you for not letting me settle for that dude with the ginger allergy) and thanks for wanting to travel with me (thanks for not letting me settle for that dude who didn’t even want to buy a passport). Thank you for reading books and not just Facebook posts.

Just thanks, for being you, whoever you are 🙂

 

Love,

Alysha

Misguided Ambition

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photo cred rebloggy.com

My dad drove us to San Antonio a couple days ago and we talked about…life. That’s kind of how me and my dad are—we either talk about ridiculous, trivial things like, I don’t know, “Decent Honey Mustard and Where To Buy It” OR super deep topics that stick with me forever like, “The Time A Man Died In My Arms.” We don’t have much of an in-between. Fart jokes or how mistakes can shape your future. The importance of washing your vehicle or the importance of family, friendship, and love.

So when careers and ambition came up, it started off as Dad casually listing every job he’s ever had (before, during, and after his 31 years in the Coast Guard). It was like a game—because the things he’s done are absurd. They sound like pure fiction. Movie-stuff.

Mowed lawns|Ranch laborer|Roofer|Tugboat oiler|Rode rodeo|Convenient store night manager|Seaman|Wrestler…yes, wrestler. I’ve seen the photos. Don’t tell him I wrote this, it’s supposed to be a family secret hahaha|EMT|Boat coxswain|Aviation structural mechanic|Search and rescue air crewman|Special agent|Chief warrant officer|Bailiff

Yeah, now you get it. Like, I’m sorry, what? How have you been all of those things? How have I never heard the word “coxswain” before? And how many people out there have had this many titles in one lifetime?

What I really started realizing though was—wow…Dad has done SO much in his life, traveled to SO many places, saved lives, earned awards—but his true happiness came from marrying my mom. Kind of crazy, right? To think that all those sappy cards, cheesy movies, and romance novels are *gasp* RIGHT about LOVE being the true purpose of life?! Ahhhhhh my life is a lie!

Except, oh yeah, that’s right, I’ve been a hopeless, disgusting romantic since maybe…second grade? I’ve always wanted the meet-cute, the traveling the world hand-in-hand, the poppin’ out babies…you know, that whole gross thing. When asked my CAREER AMBITIONS and LIFE GOALS I say things like, “I want to publish another novel and travel to a new country every year. Maybe get my PhD. Maybe teach college one day instead of high school.” And then in my head, I add, “Meet a lovely man and have a giant family and a really noisy house.”

My ambition has been a little misguided over the years. I think it’s a generational thing. Our parents had no problem stating their goals of settling down. They are content with “average lives” because that means love, family, friends—bliss. They have no qualms with “ordinary” or “mediocre.” This means happiness. Whereas my generation sees a conventional life as a failure—you’re not rich, you’re not famous, history books won’t talk about you, you’re not a household name, you didn’t shake the world? Oh, well then you’re a disappointment.

Everyone my age wants to be EVERYONE’s everything, instead of “settling” for being someone’s everything. It’s kind of sad. And it’s weird because we admit it, freely. I would LOVE for my novel to take off one day, landing me a publishing deal that I could skate on for a lifetime, sipping coffee by the beach and typing a few pages a day.

But do we really believe THAT’S what will lead to fulfillment? I think it’s far too easy to get caught up in that line of thinking—solely focusing on how to make your life more meaningful, exciting, memoir-worthy—constantly comparing yourself to “the average Joe.”

Having ambition is amazing—it shows confidence, it proves work-ethic, it displays creativity—it’s sexy. But if you let career ambition define you…and nothing else…what will you have when you’re wrinkly, sick…dying?

If all I ever have “to show for my life” (ugh, even that expression is a terrible tactic used to make people feel bad about…what exactly?) is a few students who thank me or a guy who digs my quirks and flaws or a kid who calls me Grandma and likes to read my old poetry notebooks, I’ll be pretty damn happy. That kid might be the last person to ever even remember my existence, but that’s OK, as long as I’ll be able to say that I did what I loved (I wrote, I taught, I traveled) and I loved who I wanted to love and they loved me back.

When is it OK to do NOTHING?

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Feeling superrrrr unproductive lately. As in…I’m FORCING myself to write this blog post simply to feel that relief of “Yay, I checked ‘blogging’ off the list!” It’s bad, y’all.

My next novel, my lovely WIP, is sitting at the saddest ONE chapter halt, just eyeing me with pure hate, daring me to wait another week and then another and then another…

In fact, I actually did my taxes in order to avoid writing. Gross.

I’ve been traipsing around Austin like some sort of Hilton brat…pretending I have loads of cash to throw away on mimosas and sushi. This past weekend, I laid in Zilker Park with the boy and let dogs come up to lick my face—when I could’ve been writing. We went to a freakin’ improv show that was downright terrible—when I could’ve been writing. I went to brunch TWICE. I even took a damn nap. I hate naps. I could’ve been writing.

Decided: Happiness gets in the way of getting shit done. And I think that’s OK?

I typed my first novel so furiously, post-break-up. I was like, “I hate you, I HATE YOU, I hate me, typetypetype, BOOM- NOVEL! WHAT NOW, BITCH?”

When you’re super happy, you’re usually also super busy…with, ya’ know, happy-life-things like kissing and snuggling and park-lounging. And then WHOA before you know it, another weekend has flown by in a whirlwind of pancakes and sunshine. Your gut is kinda like, “Um, excuse me, ma’am, remember when you used to go to the gym and WRITE and schedule haircuts and WRITE and read and WRITE and stuff…?”

Heart: stfu I’m having fun.

Head: Don’t worry, I’m sure things will get crappy soon and then we’ll have all the time in the world, like we used to.

Heart: BUT WHAT IF WE’RE HAPPY FOREVER?

Head: lolz

Gut: omg you’re both so effing annoying. We’ll find a balance, chill.

Life gets crazy. Busy as hell (seriously though, taxes? Who thought of that, the Brits? Didn’t we gain our independence?) and superrrrrr happy-insane sometimes. It’s OK to do nothing for a while, especially if you’re like me and you’ve been some sort of psycho Energizer Bunny since birth.

Decided: Be productive when you can, learn to adapt, evolve, whatever…find a balance and chill, like Gut says. Don’t let go of your passions, but don’t freak out and hold them so close that you lose creative control.

Heart: k!

Head: sigh, k.

Gut: kduh.

And then there’s this ^ …

Uncomplicate

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This past weekend was one of those happy-exhausting blurs of laughter that you don’t want to end yet simultaneously can’t wait for it to be over so you can sleep!

It was a much-needed celebration—officially off of work for 2 weeks YAASSSSS. But also…and more importantly believe it or not, it was a celebration of living in the present.

Let me explain: I feel like I’ve lived my whole life living in the future—planning and plotting and manipulating every situation to best fit the needs of my impending blueprint. I will definitely shy away from some of the blame and say that my parents have always been quite…pressuring. However, I’ve placed a lot of that pressure on myself and as a result, there have really only been small windows in which I’ve let myself enjoy the moment—without thinking about the next 5 minutes, 5 weeks, or 5 years.

When I travel, I live for the present—I eat without thinking about carbs and I breathe in the sunsets without thinking about writing my next novel. When I graduated from UH, I lived for the present—I decided to skip commencement entirely and drink beer on the beach without thinking about the sand on my borrowed robe or getting my PhD. These are the happiest moments of my life and yet…it takes extreme effort to be able to shut my mind off and live that way. To think about what I want NOW instead of what my family/friends/future-self want down the road… It sounds absurd.

Saturday morning, I treated my best friend’s little brother to brunch for his 21st and around mimosa #3, he said something so funny and wise that I had to write it down before the champagne made me forget: “Alysha, you remind me of the rabbit fwhiterabbitrom Alice in Wonderland. Never has anywhere to go but always in a hurry.” I laughed my ass off—he’s right! I am on constant GO-GO-GO! mode and there’s just no reason for it…

It would be foolish to say, “So I’m done with that way of thinking. I’m going to live in the present from now on.” No. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m Type A. I’m an ENTJ. I know that I can’t change the way I am—I love planning! I love list-making! I love bossing people around and making decisions and getting things to go my way. BUT. I also love when someone or something slows all of that down and just, simply: Makes. Me. Happy.

Sometimes you have to take a breath and choose to uncomplicate your life—choose the path that makes you feel free. Light-hearted. Giddy. Happy—the most basic form of happy—not “Oh my goodness this will fit so well into my 5-year plan” kind of happy. NOT the “My parents will love this” kind of happy. NOT the “WWFAS: What would future Alysha say?” kind of happy. I’m talkin’ the right here, right now, I’m smiling and all I want to do is keep smiling kind of happy…I want to be this kind of happy always.

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So yes, “live in the present” and “do what makes you happy” and blah blah blah. But also…realize that you can’t change who you are, but you can change how you think about your happiness… I caught myself choosing what my future thought it wanted. If that makes any sense. I caught myself and I turned it around. I feel like I can breathe. I feel like I’m traveling. I feel like I’m drinking beer in Kailua, wearing my sandy, borrowed robe. I feel so simple-happy.

 

Twenties

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How long can you shop at Forever 21? How long can you listen to Taylor Swift’s genius “22” and really connect with the lyrics? How long can you, with a flip of your hair and a giggle, say, “Oh it’s ok, I’m in my twenties!”? These are the questions that women everywhere have been asking themselves for thousands of years…

I’m technically in my mid-twenties (soon to be a complete quarter of a century) and I just gotta say…DOIHAAAAVETOGROWUPPPP???

I’ve said numerous times that I can’t wait til I’m 30—I feel like by then, I’ll have a lot of shit figured out, I’ll have a stable job that I love, and hopefully a man… But in all honesty, I just have no interest in being boring or responsible. I don’t want to have kids, I don’t want to buy a house, and I don’t want to shop at Dress Barn (although my mom’s been trying to buy me stuff from there since high school).

I guess getting older has nothing to do with that really. There are plenty of people who choose to never grow up. But I don’t want to be a beach bum nor do I want to marry one. I want to have it all, basically. My cake, eat it, the whole enchilada. I want to be young and carefree and stupid but I want paychecks and vacations and nice things. This screams twenties. You can have BOTH…it’s amazing.

I want to make out in a bar if I so please and blame it on too many vodka cranberries (TWENTIES). I want to go on Weight Watchers and use all my points one day on Coronas and cookies and then eat nothing but fruits for the rest of the day (TWENTIES). I want to semi fall in love a million times only to brush off the mere memory of a boy with a scornful purse of my lips (TWENTIES). I want to try out new places, new people, new hair colors, new jobs…without worrying about my future (TWENTIES). I want to go on more trips like my Contiki where I was alone, the only American, surrounded by crazy Aussies and had the time of my life (TWENTIES). I want to do more couch surfing (TWENTIES).

I want to do a lot of things in the next five years that to me, constitute as “Ah, to be in your twenties.” But I also think maybe it’s about finding friends (and a partner) who want to do those things with you forever…Twilight drinking games, reading scandalous Cosmo articles out loud in sexy voices, pancakes for an appetizer, playing never have I ever, skinny dipping…all in your 80s. That would be awesome.

That WILL be awesome 🙂

Pieces

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It’s funny how there are pieces of people that stay with you forever, even if the actual people don’t. You can go years without seeing someone, or even talking to them, but all it takes is a smell or a taste or a song—and they’re figuratively next to you, live, in color, in the flesh, dimples flashing.

Even more bizarre is how the current people who occupy your time, your present, can literally be next to you and yet not affect you at all. How can there be some people who don’t leave behind any pieces whatsoever? Were they not supposed to be in your life at all? Or is everyone meant to have these meaningless, vanilla time-fillers? And in that case, is everyone also meant to be someone else’s meaningless, vanilla time-filler? I guess it’s acceptable for the acquaintances that you see every so often, the friends of friends, the distant relatives, the people you ask the same questions to and vice versa every single time: “How are you? How’s teaching? How’s the love life, eh?”

But I hope to God that I never leave someone—someone of more importance than an acquaintance—mark-less, 100% unscathed by my presence in any way, good or bad. How tragic and boring, to never be thought of at all, ever, even if it’s just once in 20 years, when an old friend makes a disaster of mashed potatoes, walks by a person wearing a certain perfume, or sees someone with that same awful haircut that you had that one year…

I guess it’s more depressing to think of this happening with someone you’ve dated. And I can definitely think of people who I’ve dated and “dated” who won’t ever be crossing my mind, unless I’m writing about people who never cross my mind. Sucks to be you. But is it their fault, or mine? I of course want to say that it’s theirs—they should have been more interesting, funny, smart, gentlemanly, etc. They should have stuck around longer. They should have been more memorable, right? Or maybe I just didn’t give them a chance to be those things. Or maybe they were those things, and I didn’t notice or want to notice or care to notice.

We see what we want to see, right? I mean, if you want to hate someone, you connect them in your mind with petty or horrible shit. Bad memories, fighting, yelling, crying, lying. I had plenty of that with a certain ex, but instead, I think of him every single time I eat a cupcake, pick out a Halloween costume, go bowling, see a pair of incredibly blue eyes, or drink Dr. Pepper.

I think of my best friend Johanna every single time I hear any Ben Folds or Jack’s Mannequin, any time someone references Aggies, debate, Nicaragua, or little brothers, and any time I see someone with a huge, happy smile.

I think of my mom every time I eat spaghetti, every time people talk about role models or single-parent-stronger-than-steel-support-systems, and every time I see blue eyeshadow.

I think of my dad every time I see a magic trick, a gun, or a Santa, every time people talk about Texans, every time I eat a steak, and every time I really need a hug.

Every TV show or movie I watch is connected to someone. Every band, every song, every meal I cook, every outfit I wear, every restaurant I go to… The mind is a crazy gadget. Every time I drink tea—Grandma. Every time I smell a pipe—Papa. Every time I eat hummus—my roommate Leslie. There’s not much that my brain doesn’t associate to someone I care about.

I guess the real question I have is: when you reach a certain number of things that remind you of a specific person, does that mean that they should still be in your life? I mean, once you get to a certain point, and you realize that the smallest, most random things remind you of this person from your past, are you supposed to just keep living without them? Are you supposed to wait for it to completely go away? What if it never does? How often is “too” often for someone to pass through your mind? And for that matter, when you find yourself never thinking of a person, is that reasonable cause to drop them entirely? If you only think of that person when you’re in their presence, is that acceptable?

Oops, that was more than one question.

Let me try to nutshell these thoughts. I know that it’s normal to have silly, sporadic moments where an image of someone plasters itself to every inch of you. It’s like someone is drawing from a hat of your past and present relationships (platonic and otherwise) and then flinging the chosen photo down on your day when you least expect it. But I feel like this can’t ALL be purely coincidence via memory—I feel like at some point, life must just be telling you that this person is stuck to your heart for a reason. Especially when those everyday things (banana split ice cream, that one scar, that one expression) that they’re, for some reason or another,  sprinkled on top of are happy, funny, loving, meaningful, or delicious.

Right?