What letter am I avoiding? | The Daily Prompt

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Written for The Daily Prompt:

So… an entire blog post that doesn’t contain a specific letter.  Is it possible?  Read on and see!  (Try to pick the letter before the end of the post where there is a hint!)

I am sitting at work waiting for someone who takes college classes to stop by and let me know how he or she is doing. My time will be better spent organizing my office after I am done writing this post.  However, I have no problem relaxing for the moment. 

The weather is a bit cold and snowy, so the school may have a “snow day” tomorrow.  I’ll have to wait and see.  My home needs a good cleaning, so I will probably spend my time doing that if I am snowed in tomorrow. I’ll work in some time to jog, too.

Words and sentences really are amazing.  Each time I want to type that letter, I think of another way to say the same thing. I will probably try to do this again sometime.  Maybe I will choose the letter “e.”  Haha!  Yeah, right!  I’m not that naive to think I can write a relatively lengthy blog post that doesn’t contain a letter as important as that!  Don’t get me wrong – the letter I’m avoiding is important, too.  However, it can be avoided rather easily compared to other vowels.

I’m so glad I didn’t need a word that contained the letter “q”…

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2007: Tears of Joy, Tears of Fear | The Daily Prompt

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Written for The Daily Prompt:

Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

2007 was a year of firsts for me.  I started my first job after graduating from college, I became a wife and I became the owner of a brand new vehicle.  haha

I will pick a few months and choose one or two events that happened in those months to describe in more detail:

January

At the end of December 2006, I moved into my first apartment after college with my fiance.  So, in January, we finished getting settled.  Part of that was going out and buying a some furnishings, courtesy of his aunt who gave us an early wedding present in the form of a gift certificate to a nearby furniture store.  The two big pieces we bought were a dining room set and a couch, both of which we still own (unfortunately so, in regards to the couch!).

This was also the first time I had ever cried due to lack of sleep, and I cried during my first week at my new job! Luckily, no one saw me.  I was able to pull it together within a few minutes.  I was utterly exhausted because my cat (who had not lived with me for about a year) was back with us, but he wouldn’t stop crying through the night.  My parents had gotten another cat while my cat was living with them and they formed a very close bond.  I called my now-husband in tears and asked him to meet my mother halfway (about a 2-hour drive) so that my cat could go back to where he wanted to be.  He hasn’t lived with me since, but I know he’s happier.

April

This was the month of my wedding.  It was a bit stressful to plan it from half a state away, but surprisingly enough only one thing went wrong with the entire day!  I had a very unique ceremony; I did a lot of DIY projects to save money and everything turned out fantastic.  I never in my wildest dreams thought I would cry during my wedding, but as soon as I started reciting the traditional vows (“I take you…”), I lost it.  🙂

After returning home from our honeymoon, we purchased a brand new car.   Talk about a wedding present!

September

We traveled the North Shore in Minnesota all the way up to Grand Marais during the course of one day.  We stopped along the way and hiked in a few different parks.   Near the end of the trip, we descended to the bottom of one of the forests.  Upon our ascent, about halfway up, I had to take a rest.  We started again, and before long, I needed to rest again.  At this point, I began to get upset; I started crying because I truly did not think that I was going to be able to make it all the way back!   (I’d like to think that I am in better shape now that I work out on a regular basis.)

So, that was 2007 for me.  If my memory wasn’t complete shit, I could bore you some more. 😉

My Most Surreal Experience: The Man Who Didn’t Exist | The Daily Prompt

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Written for the Daily Prompt: What’s the most surreal experience you’ve ever had?

sur·re·al
adjective
1.
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of surrealism, an artistic and literary style; surrealistic.
2.
having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream; unreal; fantastic

I never knew what unadulterated passion was before I met him; I never knew someone could affect me in such a profound way.  I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating:  he challenged me and made me work towards my dreams for myself.  It wasn’t because he wanted me to improve for him; it was always because he wanted me to improve for myself – to achieve what I wanted.

I chose the picture to represent what our love meant to me.  It not only challenged me, but the love we shared helped me grow in multiple ways. I’m a better person because of that relationship.  I do my best to experience new things, to not give into excuses… to continue to grow.  I have a lot of work to do yet, but I’m getting there.

May 13, 2011 – we were chatting about me not seeing results in regards to fitness:

 HIM:
In a world that will eat your emotions raw, there is no room for excuses, especially when you’re so critical of yourself.
I wish I could show you; I wish you could feed off my energy and willpower, but we aren’t together.
So when you feel like just “giving up,” either commit yourself to the cause  or just give up.
You asked me to write you an email describing different aspects of myself.
The thing that annoys me the most on anyone, especially you, is entertainment of any excuses. Ever.
 
ME:
Why especially me?
 
HIM:
Because I love you, and I know you are better than that…
Even if you don’t.
So I will fucking yell at you every time you project even the slightest excuse in any direction.
I am so motivated because I take accountability for everything in my life. If something isn’t the way I want it, it’s simply because I’m not trying hard enough.
This applies to me as a person and the world as it could be.

How could I not love his passion for helping me? For life?  How could my heart not flutter when he said that I’m better than any excuse?  How could I have been so foolish?

I don’t think I will ever meet someone else that passionate about life.  I don’t want to; I’ll just fall in love with them, and I can’t do that.

I don’t regret knowing him… or what I thought to be him.  I continue to work towards my fitness goals and when I need some motivation, that is one of the conversations I go back and read.  One day… I’ll be able to push myself and not need external motivation.  Until then, I’ll continue revisiting the fantasy as much as it hurts me to do so. In the end, I will benefit from it over and over again. Whatever it takes, right?

Cause you are the piece of me I wish I didn’t need
Chasing relentlessly, still fight and I don’t know why
If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?
If our love’s insanity, why are you my clarity?

No one jumps a 20 foot chasm in two 10 foot jumps. | The Daily Prompt

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Written for the Daily Prompt.

You need to make a major change in your life. Do you make it all at once, cold turkey style, or incrementally?

The picture above probably has you assuming that I make all of my changes in one fell swoop.  “Go big or go home!” That isn’t the case, though.  Incremental change is what I like where most things are concerned, but it really does depend on what it is I’m tackling. As excited as I get about things and want to go “all in,” I find that I’m just not brave enough to do that, usually.  I like change… but only when I know my desired outcome is going to be achieved.

On the other hand, I never really get the dramatic results I want when I change things bit by bit.  This would make sense, right?  Why would I expect to lose 20lbs in 2-3 months if I’m only exercising 30 minutes a day (compared to 2-3 times a week) and eating cleaner (when I didn’t eat horrible to begin with)?  Well, I wouldn’t expect that… but that’s besides the point.  What matters is that you need to change big things to see big results.

I should just tell Fear to fuck off.

Afterall, no one jumps a 20 foot chasm in two 10 foot jumps.

I get lost; it helps me feel alive.

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Written for The Daily PromptWhat role does music play in your life?

The first song I ever recorded (on a reel-to-reel) was in the tune of “Frère Jacques”, but the lyrics were:

Watermelon, Watermelon
Spit the pits, spit the pits
Up and down my elbows, up and down my elbows
Drip, drip, drip.  Drip, drip, drip.

I was 3 or 4 years old at the time.  As a little girl, I sang every chance I got.  I was in choir from kindergarten until I graduated from high school.

Twenty years ago (when I was 13), Celine Dion and Mariah Carey were my idols.  I wanted so badly to be as famous as they were.  Ten years ago, I still was saying, “I want to be a famous vocalist”, but I wasn’t doing anything to get me there.

I no longer want to be a celebrity, but I am now pursuing music in my free time.  I collaborate with artists from around the world.  As an example, I live in the midwest United States and I’m currently working with someone who lives in Germany.  I’ve worked with 30-50 different people over the past 6 years;  I’ve only met one of them.

So what role does music play in my life?

Music is sometimes an escape when I need to get my mind off of everything; I get lost in it.  I can spend 4 or 5 hours in my studio and not realize it’s 2 o’clock in the morning until my husband comes in and reminds me that my body needs sleep.  Music is my outlet.

Music also is a social “crutch” for me, per se. I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder when I was 20 years old, so discussing things I’m passionate about really help ease my nerves in social situations. When a topic I’m passionate about is brought up, I come alive.   Most people enjoy music, right?  Well, I capitalize on that. I make sure to mention that I write and record in my spare time.  Most people immediately ask me how it works and they are usually amazed that I write music with people I have never – and probably will never – meet in person. It’s not narcissism; I just need to find an “in”… and music is usually that “in” for me.

Excitement is another thing music brings into my life – especially when I’m collaborating with someone on a new song.  The way some tracks come together continues to astound me to this day.  I simply can’t get enough of it, really.  I may not be the most talented, but I won’t stop making music until I have to.

Fun fact: The title of my blog was inspired by a song I discovered just days before signing up to WordPress.

Transformation Update 1/24/13 | The Daily Prompt

Written for The Daily Prompt.

Set a timer for ten minutes. Open a new post. Start the timer, and start writing. When the timer goes off, publish.

My transformation challenge has been weighing on my mind lately.  I feel like I’m not making any progress.  And I’m not  – physically, anyway.  However, I do feel like I’m making loads of progress internally.

I’m eating better, eating fewer carbs, and I’m cooking more and more each day. My dad was a chef and owned a nice, sit-down restaurant in my hometown for about 10 years while I was growing up.  While I’ll never be a chef, cooking is quite therapeutic!  If the school I worked at had a culinary arts program, I would take a few classes.  But I digress…

I’ve been working out on an almost daily basis.  I try to get in a minimum of 30-45 minutes of walking and/or jogging each day (except for Wednesdays – my rest day.)  So far, I’ve done really good with that.  Baby steps.

That being said, baby steps are not going to get me to where I need to be in another 10 weeks; I can’t believe 2 weeks of my transformation “challenge” have already passed!  10 weeks… that’s really all I have to kick some major ass.  Even if I don’t have the biggest transformation out of my small group, I am learning better habits and getting in a routine of cooking healthier meals, so it’s a win-win situation anyway.

(5 minutes to go!)

Sometimes I feel like I could be doing so much more.  For example – this week I decided not to count my calories because I knew I wasn’t going to be consuming many carbs.  I honestly don’t think I ate enough calories any day this week; I usually eat under my goal when I’m eating healthy.

As far as working out, though, I know I could be hitting it SO MUCH HARDER.  I think I’ve  fallen into the “less effort” mindset because I used to lift weights three times a week and didn’t do much cardio.  Now I’m focusing solely on cardio.  I used to walk 45-60 minutes per day at a pretty brisk pace.  Then I started to jog somewhat regularly, and that’s when I started to see really nice results.  I know what I need to do, it’s just SO DIFFICULT to get my mind in that place again.  It’s not impossible though.  I’ll get there.

I’ll end this post by saying… I have a really simple, somewhat conversational writing style.  I hope you, dear reader, enjoy that.  I don’t like to be too “flowery” with my language.  I have a pretty limited vocabulary (that I’m very self-conscious about), so it helps to prevent me writing anything too complicated anyway.  haha  I was always complimented in college about my writing style; in grad school I assumed it was because professors were tired of reading overly pretentious writing from students who were trying to prove something.  I guess it doesn’t really matter, does it?  I was just trying to fill up a couple of more minutes anyway. 😉

Time’s up!

I’m an introverted songwriter with too much information to sift through…

Written for The Daily Prompt:

Describe your last attempt to learn something that did not come easily to you.

I get overwhelmed fairly easily with mass amounts of information at my fingertips.  Hand me a textbook and I’m fine, but the Internet?

Holy.

Shit.

                                                                      How can you seriously expect me to sift through all of this and know where to begin?  Let’s not even start to think about the amount of useless and/or inaccurate information that’s out there.

That being said, my first answer to the question is learning about how certain types of foods and medical conditions affect the body and weight loss. It really is not as simple as “calories in < calories out” because if it were, most people wouldn’t have such a difficult time with it.  Some people have to go “low carb” to see results; others need to actually eat more because they’ve starved themselves for too long and have wrecked their metabolisms.  There’s such an array of things to consider when attempting to sculpt your shell into something other than what it is right now.  I still haven’t learned the science to the point where I can see results on a consistent basis, but I’m getting there.

The other thing that came to mind was songwriting.  While I’m decent at it, it definitely doesn’t come easy, and I have much more to learn.  For example, today I’m hesitant to get on my recording PC and attempt to write a particular verse for a collaboration track I’m working on because it’s not my usual style – melodically or lyrically.

Being social and making new friends is the last thing that popped into my mind when I read the prompt. However, I guess I haven’t really tried to learn how to do that.  I’m introverted, so I’m comfortable not having many friends, but I also like to communicate.  As such, my introverted nature and shyness (NOT the same thing) get in the way of that desire to become more social and make new friends as easily as my extroverted peers.

Sometimes I feel like I’ll never be good enough at any of these things. I like a challenge, though.