Thursday, January 28, 2010

This is a black hole

Page 129: A Portable hole/portal
Literally is a giant black hole.
Directions:
1. Cut out
2. Affix the hole to any surface
3. Use

So simple. Yet, quite a responsibility. And quite a challenge.
You see, this portable hole portal can make anything disappear at will, and can take me to any location that I want to be right now. What do I want to disappear? Where do I want to go?

It's rather daring to use this portable hole portal. It looks like a black hole. And as we all know, once one enters a black hole, you never return.
So I'm a bit nervous that if I decide to put something in my portable hole/portal/black hole then it might never return. And that's a scary thought.

And if I could be anywhere right now, where would I want to be?
At the moment ... I'm not 100% sure where I want to go. But it is kind of nice to look out at my portal on the wall and think: if I wanted to go somewhere I could.
I kind of want to go home.
I kind of want to go on vacation. The beach.
I kinda of want to be in some body's arms.
Andddd I kind of just want to go in my bed and go to sleep!

You know what else is cool? ... The great thing about life is you can always go somewhere. Instant portable hole/portal or not; you are never truly stuck in one place. Even if you feel like it. Yes, I have to go to class tomorrow. But literally it's not impossible for me to drive home tonight if I truly desired to. And I can book a flight online RIGHT now for a vacation and leave as soon as tomorrow if I wanted to. I can call up any one of my friends and ask for a hug and cuddle. And they would! And by bed is literally right behind me. I can hop on in whenever I want.

My black hole on the wall is a reminder:
1. Don't throw things out because they may never return.
2. You are never stuck in one place, you can always go somewhere else.

...unless that place is a black hole. Then you are stuck there. So I guess moral of the story: Don't wish to be transported to a black hole (via instant portable hole/portal) because then you will never return.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This is excuses excuses excuses ....

The other day I did page 112 which was "An EXCUSE to avoid other things."
That's funny ... I'm pretty sure this entire book is my excuse to avoid other things. I'm pretty sure I bought you and started this blog for the sole purpose of avoiding other things in life and an excuse to distract myself from things I did not want to do. (Although at this point, I basically continue because I'm a blogging junkie and actually think its fun). (And sometimes because I'm bored). (Sometimes because I want to do something out of the ordinary). (But still ... sometimes it is my excuse to avoid doing other things)

Well ANYWAY, at the time that I did page 112 (last Saturday) I wanted to avoid the following things:
- Negative confrontation with people I care about.
- Buying my school books.
- Moving to a seat closer to an outlet to plug in my computer so it doesn't die.
- Tonight - and the nighttime socializing festivities that college life entails.
- Finishing my lab.
- The first week of classes.
- The winter.


At the time, page 112 was a great excuse to avoid these things. And at the time, I technically didn't have to do ANY of those things on that list. I was able to successfully avoid all of them! Thanks to NOT a book and a steaming cup of Starbucks.

But looking at the page today I just realized it was a complete failure.
I was not able to avoid any of these things. Not one.

- Within 24 hours, I had the negative confrontation. If it needs to happen, it needs to happen.
- Within 3 days I had to buy my school books.I had to do a homework assignment based on Chapter 1 of the textbook by Thursday, therefore I needed to buy the book.
- I ended up going out to the nighttime college festivities....peer pressure worked its magic on me.
- Within 4 days I had to go into lab, and work has started up on it again. I'm going in again today and lots of next week. I have a responsibility and a job to do. It can't go unfinished.
- The first week of classes has come and gone. I can't stop time. I can't stop school from happening.
- The winter..... well, unless I go in a coma for the next 3 and 1/2 months, I just don't see how its possible to avoid that either.


- Howeverrrrr .... I DID NOT MOVE TO A SEAT CLOSER TO AN OUTLET FOR MY COMPUTER! Alas-success! I avoided something!
But not quite....
My computer died shortly after. Which totally backfired. It wasn't the success of avoidance that I was looking for.

So what have I learned from all of this??
You can't avoid life.
I can make excuses all I want. I can write them down, I can say I don't want to do it. But if it has to be done, it will be done. Whether I want to do it or not.
So if its going to get done at some point or other, then the only difference is how its done: Early, in a timely manner, without complaining, without stressing; Or at the last minute, stressed about it, with complaining, and having negative thoughts and opinions about it.

I'm not saying that because of this I will now do everything without complaint in a timely manner from here on out for the rest of my life. Actually, ya, I can tell you that will 100% not be the case :)
I'm just saying I learned my lesson (Whether I apply it or not).

Sorry This is NOT a Book ... you are not a valid excuse to avoid life. Thanks for trying though. I appreciate the effort!

P.S. I hope everybody has a wonderful day :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This is not a new page



I haven't done another page in NOT a book yet. But I have just a few quotes that I've recently come across and I want to share. (I'm still going off the kick that quotes instantly make you feel better ....)

The heart has reasons which reason cannot know.
- By Blaise Pascal (told to me by Anna today).


Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.
- By Victor Hugo (writen on my daily quote calandar for Tuesday January 19, 2010).


We knowers are unknown to ourselves, and for a good reason: How can we ever find what we have never looked for?
- Nietsche,


And finally the entire lyrics to Bill Withers "Lean on Me" song, courtesy of my good friend Tim. Seriously, this has got to be one of the best songs ever... in every way. Everybody needs somebody. I'm so thankful for everybody that is a friend to me. And I hope everyone knows you can always come to me.

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there's always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you don't let show

If there is a load you have to bear
That you can't carry
I'm right up the road
I'll share your load
If you just call me

So just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'd understand
We all need somebody to lean on

Lean on me when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
Till I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Saturday, January 16, 2010

This is the purpose of life??

"In every one of us there are two ruling and directing principles, whose guidance we follow where ever they may lead; the one being an acquired innate desire of pleasure; the other, an acquired judgement which aspires after excellence."
-- Socrates


I think this means that there are two reasons that we, as human beings, do things. One being, for joy, pleasure, happiness. To do something just because you want to and it keeps you living.
The second reason being, so that you can excel, achieve, gain, and/or become something greater. Something that you couldn't have become or achieved without having done all the things before hand. Something you can't just naturally be.

So basically Socrates just told me: I can do something just to do something and be happy (scratch that ....) and be content.
OR I can do something so that it ultimately leads me to be able to do something else.

Sometimes when you break things down and simplify, life just seems so silly. But even though I expected something more mindblowing from such a distinguished astute philosopher such as Socrates - I gotta give him credit. It makes sense. I totally agree.

Have you ever sat down and wondered "What is the purpose of life?"
I hope you haven't. Because I have ... and its not a pretty thing to think about. It can really screw with your head. But it's really not as complicated as I used to think. I guess, after breaking it down with Socrates, I kind of realize that the purpose of life is to do things. No matter what is is, or what it is for. People just do things. And as you continue to do things, life goes on.

Thus my second quote of the day:
"In three words, I can sum up everything I've learned about in life. It goes on."
-- Robert Frost.


On page 60 (yeah I should have done this a while ago but just forgot!) I was supposed to sit in a public place and pretend to be an alien and take notes on human behavior and customs.

So here I am, at Starbucks, on a Saturday afternoon, people watching.

From my notes I can sum up human behavior and customs as follows:
Some people are loud. Always talking. Laughing.
Some are quiet. Just looking. I can't conclude what it is they are looking at. They just look.
Almost everybody is with somebody. Or multiple people.
And when someone is alone, they have something else to accompany them. A book, a newspaper. Even though they don't have another person to talk to, its like they can still talk and communicate through the text of something else.
Its okay to touch each other. Hold hands.
People pay money in order to get something else. Food and drink.
Everybody has their own stuff. A bag, a purse, a backpack. They keep it close to them.
People are walking. I can't conclude where they are walking to, or why.
Some people come and go quickly, some have not left yet. I can't conclude where they are going when they leave. And I can't conclude why somebody hasn't left, because there isn't much to do here necessarily either. They are just sitting here and talking. Why here?
Other people are actively doing stuff. In the same uniform. They do what they are asked to do by the people who seem to be doing nothing.

Back to Socrates...
People come into Starbucks and sit and read, sit and talk, sit and tell a story and laugh with friends. And they accomplish very little besides living. Doing something. And enjoying themselves, because of their "innate desire of pleasure," according to Socrates.
Other people are working. They have a task at hand - to make a grande nonfat mocha cappuccino - not because it makes they happy. But rather because by doing this, they are working hard and making money which will allow them to do something else and achieve something greater. Such as a promotion, or a big check that can buy them something new and great. They are doing something becuase they aspire something greater, according to Socrates.

The purpose or meaning of life is a funny thing to think about.
There are moments in our life when we do things for a purpose. And there are moments when we do things just because.
Either way, as life contiues around me in Starbucks...people just do things. And I will probably never know the real reason why. But thats life. You do things for any reason. And it goes on.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things (like the sound of music)


"The MAGIC in all that is, and the wonder in al that could be, is partly made of stardust and parly made of the SEA" "There's no place like home" "Our dreams become reality when we believe in our tomorrows" "To live would be an awfully great adventure"

Page 77: An Escape Capsule.
Approximately the size of a small closet. I listed all the items that I would put in this closet sized escape capsule to accompany me when I need to (duh) escape. So basically, I put my favorite things in there. Because I figure if you need to escape, it is probably because you are trying to get away from something or someone. And thats not really an ideal situation to be in. So it would be nice to be reminded of the things that you like and the people and places that you do enjoy being with. So here is the list of things that I put my escape capsule that I can now escape to:

- Lucky (my cat) or Merlee (my roommates cat, if she lets me)
- A picture of the ocean (Preferably Cape Cod)
- Flowers. Real ones. Maybe potted ones so that they will stay alive in the capsule.
- A picture of my family
- Chocolate ice cream
- Coffee (in case I'm hungry)
- This is NOT a Book
- My journal and pen
- Simba (I sleep with him every night. He is the best. I love him).
- Water (to feed my flowers and my thirst!)

Then I decorated the entire page. I love doing this kind of stuff. Collage-ing and being crafty. I decorated it with good quotes, pictures of flowers, the ocean, my family, and simba and kitty stickers.

So OK, in reality, I can't just climb into my "closet capsule" every time I want to get away and steal my roommies kitty and eat a gallon of chocolate icecream. It would be weird. Not normal and unhealthy. BUT I can atleast open up to Page 76 everytime I want to escape, and hopefully remembering all the things that I love will take me away for a moment or two.

And miraculously, for the first time in two weeks, I only had ONE practice today! I had all morning free with not much to do...so I continued being crafty and made a similar collage of my favorite things on the computer! So now its up here and I can share the prettiness with you.

And while Im at it: Here's another iconic-type collage I made on the computer last year with lots of my favorite pictures of the beach, track, gymnastics, favorite movies, sayings .. and just down right prettiness and smileyness to look at. Basically, I get warm fuzzy feelings when I make and look at collages of my favorite things. I hope you feel warm and fuzzy too =)



(I think if you click on the pics they get larger...)

Monday, January 11, 2010

This is opening up (hence the lengthiness of this post)

As I've said before, I like blogging specifically about This is NOT a Book because it is something that has meaning is my life that I can share, but its not too personal. It has a focus. It's not like my journal where I rant and rave about everything and anything. And get way too emotional and personal that not even my mother would care to read about it!

But I'm going to try to open up a bit right now. Because I need to. So if you don't care about my personal life, and only care about funny stories I have about completing the missions of This is NOT a Book, then feel free to stop reading. No offense taken.

Page 103: This is a psychological mood-altering machine.
It told me to write my current mood, then write my mood of choice in the "machine" on the page, then focus really really hard ... and then voila! Your mood will be changed.
WOW, I cannot explain to you how much I have been in desperate need of this recently.
If only it were this easy.

So... my whole life I've been a happy girl. I have a funny family. We laugh. One of my past coaches called me "Smiley." And my nickname in high school was "Sunshine" because I was always bright and sunny.
But for the first time in my life, all semester, I've been feeling not so bright and shiny. More kind of ... dull. Not dark and dreary. Just cloudy. Now I've had dark days before, I've had some pain and suffering for a 20 year old, I've been through a few deaths and physical and emotional obstacles. But whats odd recently is that nothing is wrong, nothing is bad, nobody died ... but the clouds are here. And whats even more odd, is that is been months, and they haven't left.

So throughout all this time I've been all hung up on trying to be "happy" again. Everyday I wake up and say "Today I will be Happy." And I am constantly reminding myself to "do what makes you happy." But, nothing is working. Maybe it does temporarily ... but after a short amount of time I realize that the clouds are still here and I'm not truly Happy, that I just fooled myself for a short amount of time.

Be Happy.
Be Happy.
Be Happy.

I've been trying SO hard to do things that will make me happy. Talk to friends. Smile. Run. Be with boys. Be with one boy. Don't talk to friends. Don't smile. Don't Run. Don't be with boys. Don't be with one boy.
..... nothing works.
..... I'm still not happy.

Finally about a month ago, me and my mom had a talk. At first she thought I was going crazy because I was feeling so down all the time. And then she thought I was crazy for wanting to be UP all the time.

Be Happy.
What does that even mean???
What is happy??
Who is happy ALL the time?
Is it even possible?
And if it were ... would I even want that? I mean ... imagine being around somebody who is happy ALL the time.
I would probably want to punch them at some point.


Why am I so hung up on being "Happy"? Why am I always thinking that being "Happy" is some sort of safe haven. I have this twisted image of what being Happy is supposed to be like. Like, its a place above me and I have to work my way there, as if its something I can achieve. And once I'm there I won't have to look up in despair anymore. And I'm a failure for not reaching it. And it's the fact that I'm so hung up on trying to be "Happy" that I realize that I'm NOT happy, and then feel more down and depressed that I'm not happy... Because I feel like a failure and I'm looking up at all the people around me who ARE happy and Im jealous and lonely.
What a VICIOUS cycle. A twisted image of happiness.


So after the talk I had with my mom I realized, I don't need to be happy. Don't listen to those cute little smiley face shirts that say "Be Happy" on them. I don't want to be happy anymore.
Now, I think its stupid.

I want to be content. I want to be okay. I want to live each day.

So my current mood:
Anxious. Uncertain. Nervous. Undecided. And a bit sad.
Im anxious about everything in my life. From what will I be doing in 5 years, to what will I do in 5 minutes. I am anxious about having to wake up tomorrow morning. I am anxious to start my DI applications that don't need to be done for 8 months. I'm anxious to do something, because after I finish blogging I don't know what to do.
I am uncertain about every decision I've made in the past few months. I'm not sure if I should have eaten that cookie at dinner tonight. I'm not sure if I should have been focusing more on running all fall and not pole vault. I'm not sure if I should be taking Kinesiology 585 next semester. Im not sure if I should have broken up with my boyfriend. I am nervous. I am nervous about my first meet on Thursday. Will I do good? Will I fail? Will I let it affect me? I am undecided about the decisions I'm currently making. Should I hang out with a particular person tonight or not. Should I be alone or with friends. Should I push myself the extra bit in practice, or go get ice because I'm hurting. I can't decide. And I'm a bit sad because I'm feeling all of these things. All of these negative things. All of these things that don't make me feel secure or confident. They make me feel a bit sad, because I don't want to feel them! But I can't help it. I can't help myself. And that makes me sad. I always thought I could figure out my feelings, and suddenly I can't. I don't like it.

Well my mood of choice which I placed in the machine is: Content.
I can't make these feelings magically disappear. (OR I should say that I can't put them in a machine and just alter them into more positive feelings). Sorry This is NOT a Book, but it doesn't work like that.
But what I can do is accept them.

I can accept that I feel nervous and anxious and upset and undecided. And maybe I can work on it. Maybe I can try to relax, or talk to people about it, and put everything in perspective. Maybe if I don't focus in on them. Maybe if I don't waste all my energy thinking about the fact that I have these feelings and trying all of the sudden be rid of them and be happy. Maybe if I just acknowledge that I have them and then move on and don't focus on them...then I'll be okay.

Everybody must feel these things. Its just what you do with these feelings that determine your mood. So I would like to be content. Accepting of the days when I'm anxious and sad. And accepting of the temporary times or moments when I'm happy. Accepting the fact that its impossible to smile every second of every day. And being content with myself even when I'm not smiling. Because I know that just because I'm not smiling doesn't make me a bad person. I want to eventually find a comfortable middle ground - between the unreachable fantasy HAPPY land and depression - where I can just say "This is my life. And I'm okay."



This just reminded me of a poem that one of my great aunts gave to me on my high school graduation day. Apparently it was my great grandmothers favorite. It might now be one of mine too:

May you always have love in your heart
May you always have joys to share
And wherever your dreams take you
May contentment meet you there.

Monday, January 4, 2010

This is THE CAPTAIN WOMAN

With the help of friends, a list of my personality traits was formed.
kind
caring
committed
empathetic
competitive
driven
realistic
goal oriented
open minded
intelligent
organized
crafty
sympathetic

Then through exaggeration and imagination ... a superhero was born! Not only did we write the introductory storyline of how THE CAPTAIN WOMAN came to be, but I put on the mask and cape, and we spontaneously acted it out as well.

So alongside THE CAPTAIN WOMAN (played by me), who helps people achieve their goals, is THE GINES (played by Gina) and SNUGGIETILDA (played by Elaina). Enjoy. We certainly did.

video

"Her competitive nature quickly took up the challenge to be the first superhero to reach ALL of her realistic lifetime achievement goals ... in ONE night. Committed to complete this task, she is open-minded to the challenges she may face. Therefore she organized a strong group of fellow intelligent superheroes to compete against her so that she is even more driven to reach her goal first. Although she kindly looked out for her fierce superhero competitors and friends, there was nothing stopping her from reaching success. And thus, 24 hours later she craftfully, intelligently, and competitively succeeded in achieving all of her 524,068 goals (which were originally thought to be completed within 100 years) However, she did not bask in her glory. For shorly after her victorious achievement she felt sympathetic and empathetic for her fellow competitors which so so gracefully crushed. With her innate caring nature, she then spent the rest of her life and superhero powers to help other achieve their goals.

Look for more funny superhero pics on my photostream via flickr!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

This is finding security in an unsettled life.

On page 101 and 102 I was supposed to create a map based on some aspect of my every day life.
But I felt stumped.
Nothing is really the same every day. I mean...I suppose I wake up and walk to the bathroom every morning and then walk to the coffee maker. But that would be a really boring map. And plus, this morning I was home. Home home. So then I had to ask myself, "Do I make a map of my trip out of bed to the bathroom and to the coffee maker based on Home Home, or based on my house at school?" Because at this stage in my life, I'm at school more often. Yet, I've still spent most of my life at Home Home. I got too confused and I nixed that idea.

I then supposed that since I am normally at school a lot, I could make a map of how I go to classes. Because I go to classes Monday through Friday and school is basically my everyday life. But I don't have the same classes every day, my schedule changes. And every day is different, it might not be a direct route to class all the time. I could stop and eat or meet up with a friend. And most times I walk ...but sometimes its too cold out (since it is winter in New England) and I take the bus. Walking and the bus are two totally different routes.
Needless to say, I couldn't settle on a map based on my route to campus every day either.

I almost got discouraged. At the moment I'm distraught over going back and forth from home to school. It's tough. Emotioanlly exhausting. And this is just one more thing to be upset about. Why can't I make a map of my everyday life??! Why isn't my life stable? Why haven't I got a routine? Why do I feel like I'm never settled and I can't relax and just be at peace with my everyday mapped out, routine, settled, stable life?

Wait ... why would I want that right now anyway?

Would I seriously rather just enter the work force, get a full time job work my 40 hours a week M-F, find a place to live, make the same commute every day and feel settled?
HECK NO!

Granted, there are pro's and con's to each side. But for now...I'm independent and young. Being in college means that my life is constantly getting a switch up. Term to term, year to year. I get rapid changes and rapid results. If I don't like a class, its OK! It'll be over in 4 months! If I don't like a roommate, its OK! I can switch! Nothing is permanent. In 14 days I went from school to home to boston to new york to home to school. Its fun to travel, explore, have the ability to leave! But sometimes this can also bother me. Sometimes I just want to stay in one place so that I have the time to establish myself or accomplish something or feel settled about my life. But even though I get very anxious about where my life is going ... the truth is, I wouldn't have it any other way. Because rather than feeling constrained to where my life is at, I'd rather feel overwhelmed with options as to where my life could go.

So no, I don't wake up in the same place everyday. (That does not mean what you think it does). And no I don't have the same goals and tasks ahead of me everyday. So no, I could not think of a map to create for my everyday life.

But I compromised.
Right now, my everyday life is a life that is not fully settled. One that changes frequently. But no matter where I go, what I do, who I'm with, I will always have home. And I love running and have for years. And know that I will always run in the future. So despite my rapidly changing life, I can always count on two things to always be there for me: home and running.


This is a map of a quick simple Out-and-Back route that I always do when I'm at home. Its EXACTLY 2 miles so its great for me to do on an easy day; or its great to do as a warm up for a sprint workout; or its great to do as a cool down after a plyos and lifting day; or its great to do with pick-ups in between. Basically, its my fallback every time I go home. It never lets me down.

No my life is not settled. I cant be sure that I will do the same thing every day. But it feels good to know that there are some things in life you can count on. No matter what I do with these two miles, it will always be exactly two miles. And it will always be waiting for me at home.