Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Emily, the Only Over-Achiever

So all of my other posts have been highly positive, and I promise that this one won't stray far from that motif. However, I just have to say something that is really irking me right now.
I know that everyone knows that I strive to go above and beyond in pretty much everything. My life is far from perfect, but I try to keep things as clear and organized as I can. I keep my room clean, always; I cook good food; I do my laundry once a week; you know, the normal activities of a highly organized (some say anal retentive) person. The same organization leaks into my school work, naturally, and I find myself completing all my assignments with (at least) hours to spare. I don't procrastinate, and I could be classified as an "over-achiever." That said, I'm not one of those who goes so above and beyond as to look desperate, or in constant approval of my professors. I don't visit my professors during their office hours in order to discuss my ivy-league anticipations (I don't even know if I have such anticipations). I don't turn in 3-page papers where only 150 words are required. Are you catching my drift?
Well, the people who bother me the most are not the ones who don't make their beds or who neglect school assignments. I have one up on them, so I really couldn't care less. The ones that bother me the most are the ones who try so hard to be the best at everything that they end up looking like fools. I don't like seeing people try harder than me, as prideful as that may be. I want to set the benchmark for perfection in mediocrity, and I don't like it when anyone tries to trample on my A efforts in order to get an A++ (just in case you didn't know, there aren't such things in college). Anyway, that rant is over.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Around the world in a matter of seconds

I can't believe the interesting experiences I'm able to have every day. Today, those experiences came in the form of a cross-continent conversation I had with my cousin in Norway; it really is so remarkable that I can stay in contact with so many people. I don't know how it happens, but I have managed to accrue friends in places around the US, Europe, and Asia, and I've managed to maintain pretty good contact with these people after years of not seeing most of them. The amazing web of technology makes my friends in Spain and Florida only a mouseclick away, as I find ways to employ my infamous blog stalking to stay informed on others' lives.
In planning a trip to Europe this summer, I've managed to round up all of my friends across the pond and ask them if they'd be willing to let me stay and see their country from the perspective of one who lives there. Right now I have plans to go to Spain, Norway, and France, but I'm trying to round up any other continental European folks who would be willing to put me up. This European adventure will definitely turn out to be a lot different than the last one; this time I won't be so much a tourist as an observer. I'll be staying with people who know the cities, and I'll be able to see their day-to-day adventures in places that are only slightly familiar to me. It should be fun!
This is the family I met in Barcelona. I'm so excited to see them again in July!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Why Does Everyone Think Valentine's is a Sad Day?

I just don't get it. Hearts and flowers should make people smile, but instead I see people who are bitter. I don't think that the absence of flowers and hearts would make winter any less miserable, so I'm one who sucks it up and enjoys Valentine's Day as an excuse to give gifts, dress up cute, or any other activity that needs excusing. I also don't think that companionship is necessary for this day intended to celebrate a Christian martyr. Singleness can be celebrated just as openly and wonderfully as marriage! I intend to live this day as if there is nothing I would rather do than to expand my mind, feed my soul, and LIVE.
This week I accomplished many tasks set before me. I did not have a planned schedule with designated time for all my necessary activities, but I still found time to do everything I needed. Most of all, I realized that there are truly people in this world on whom I can rely, and for whose help I am indeed grateful. One of my professors wrote me not one, but two letters of recommendation in a 48-hour crunch, and it is her willingness to be my mentor that is helping me on my way to an exciting thesis project and an adventure to London. Right now my life is really better than I could possibly imagine! This perfect week was enhanced with poetry readings, chats with professors, haircuts, and baking four dozen thin mint cookies. Needless to say, I feel completely at peace right now.
Is it pathetic to admit to liking school so much? I don't know if everyone reading this already knows that I'm a huge nerd, but I have just verified it with the previous sentence. I can't believe that I get to go to school every day to learn and discuss new ideas and perspectives for looking at the world. I can't believe that I am surrounded by such brilliant people who not only love what they're doing, but who also push me to love what I'm doing. There is no way I would be who I am today without the guidance of some amazing people, and one simple statement: "You should change your major to English." Those seven words have had more of an impact on the Emily sitting here writing these words than any other words I have ever heard spoken to me. Someday I will be able to fully express my gratitude for those who have brought me to this point, but for now, those many words will go unspoken.
This post has turned out to be an assortment of rambling thoughts that spilled from my brain and onto this computer. I hope that someone can make sense of it all. Just know this: I am happy, I am exuberant, and I'm a nerd.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Waiting on slow internet connections

As I sit here waiting for Netflix to finish adjusting for my slow internet connection, I feel prompted to write a blog. I am pretty sure that my life's musings are of little to no interest of the rest of the world, but I find them fascinating all the same.
Today as I walked home from class with a friend, I briefly told her my blog "title" and shared with her what I thought it meant. Let me relay those thoughts again in complete, semi-coherent sentences:
My life is a snapshot. I do ordinary things, framed by ordinary people in a normal world of blue skies and green grass (covered by grey-white snow). At almost every moment I can be found doing something normal, but it's those few special moments that I care the most deeply about. It is those moments of perfectly positioned beauty and understanding that make me want to continue on in the mundaneness of life.
My life is a series of synapses. I am constantly thinking, wondering, feeling, and hypothesizing about the world around me. Those "ordinary" things that I mentioned above do not escape my attention, and I feel alive when I can make connections between the "real" (walking down the street, seeing a stranger, saying hello) and the "imaginary" (reading a book, meeting a character, falling in love). I am on a quest to combine those "real" and "imaginary" aspects of my life into something grander than I can make from these few words.
My life is a synecdoche. I am a part of something which is wholly bigger than I can possibly comprehend. I am one of six billion people trying my best to live my life the way I should. However, I truly believe that amongst those six billion people, I am the only one who can live my life, feel my emotions, and think my thoughts. With this synecdochizing phenomena, I am able to be a part that somehow makes the whole better. I hope I can; I know I can.
There you have it. My life in three alliterating words. I cannot think of a better way to describe who I am or how I'm living right here, right now. I love it, and I'm so proud of the life I'm a part of.