Flowers are Always Good

Thank God for great friends, right?

Boy, I tell you what, this last week has been full of ups and downs. Well, in particular, one reassuring up, and one very, very low down.  Reflecting, I suppose I’ve learned something about myself in all of this. But maybe I should back up a bit first and explain…before I explain.

The week started out pretty well. I was very optimistic–I made my first-ever CV, made the trek to the Career Center and got it looked over (she thought it looked great, I might add), and went to the University Career Fair, where I talked to some programs that I’m actually very interested in, and got an interview for a program I hadn’t even intended on applying for (strange how those things work out).

That wasn’t even the high of my week, though: the day before, I had been offered both a student library job/internship (I’ve been trying to snag a job at KU libraries for the last three years, but scheduling has just never worked out before now) for the rest of the semester, and a summer job as a Teaching Assistant for Duke TIP.

Still, all of this was sort of arbitrary–secondary, perhaps–to the real plan. My coworker and I had our hearts and our heads set: we were going to work for Disney. She had worked as part of the Disney College Program before, and I had been dreaming about it since before I was even in college–in fact, I think the first time I ever looked the Disney College Program up, I was a junior in high school.

So, I was going to apply, and she was going to re-apply. And we were going to work at Walt Disney World, or Walt Disneyland, or Walt Disney World and Walt Disneyland, and for the next six months, we were going to be golden. Then, using my awesome experience working in one of the Disney parks, I was going to apply for writing internships in television and development, and of course employers were going to love me–I’m fun, I’m responsible, and I have a lot of good work experience. This was the plan. This was going to happen. It felt right. It was right.

Until I didn’t move through to the next phase of the interview process.

Yep, that’s right, revel in the irony, everyone: Tasha, the woman who has loved Disney since she was old enough to watch movies; the woman who is so obsessed with Disney fairy tales that she wrote her senior thesis on them, did not make it through the interview process for the Disney College Program. Maybe it was one too many “neutrals” on the survey I had to fill out; maybe it was because, instead of a positive person (which, in comparison with my coworker, I am no where near positive, but in terms of the rest of the world, I’m a pretty positive person) I consider myself more of a realist, because to me, being a realist is still positive, just not delusional. (…Not that positive people are delusional…) But now I’m starting to sound more like a bitter, negative, whiny person.

My point is this: I hit a bottom this week. One of dreams that I’ve had for a very, very long time is no longer possible.  And, while right now it still stings, that’s okay. I’m okay. It’s not like I haven’t been thrown curve-balls in my life before. In fact, most of my life (in my own opinion) has been nothing but curve balls. Disappointments and rejections that have forced me to take ninety-degree turns and barrel on through a new path. And that’s only what this is. A ninety-degree turn. And so now, I’ll just have to barrel that path in a new direction, and hopefully shoot for a similar–or better–landing place.

And really, taking ninety-degree turns is actually good for me, because I tend to make long, intricate plans for my life and what happens in it, and these moments are eye-opening reminders that I shouldn’t shut the rest of the world and its countless opportunities out. So, while Disney lost a seriously good potential employee this week, some other opportunity I haven’t considered yet is going to gain a seriously great candidate. And I’m going to sound cocky, because it’s true. I work hard.

And that brings me to what I learned about myself from all of this: I realized, amid my sobbing, disappointed phone call to my mother, and my rather mopey Monday, that somewhere along my life, I seem to have gotten my priorities mixed up.  I am in a relationship with my work and career goals. I care more about working towards success, than I do about making and growing relationships with other people along the way. And this is wrong. Because success IS the people and relationships you have while making your way, and your living, in this world.

Thank God I have friends like my coworker, who sent me flowers (because flowers really do make everything better), and spent a very long time occupied by my emotional embraces, who–despite my relationship with my work (which is a horrible boyfriend, by the way; he never remembers my birthday)–has somehow become one of my dearest friends. And it is friendships like hers, and friendships like my roommates, and friendships and love like my mother’s that has reminded me that it really is the relationships that matter. What’s it worth to conquer the world without someone to share it with?

So, my fellow almost-graduates, my only advice to you this week is this: make the absolute best friends you can, and keep them, because they won’t judge you when you’re working in a coffee shop to pay the rent, and they will always buy you flowers when you are very, very sad.

Here’s to hoping next Monday is a little happier.

Yours truly,

tlc

Shake-speared, not Stirred

Oh Graduation, how do thee freak me out? Let me count the ways:

This has been an interesting seven days.  The good news is, I’m still alive after the first week of classes.  The bad news?  I had two semi-legitimate-but-mostly-just-me-being-dramatic panic attacks.  Why?  Let me start at the beginning.

Classes started on Tuesday this semester, since Monday was an extension of winter break in observance of MLK day. I went to my first class, play writing, and was extremely excited to finally see my mentor-professor in action in the classroom.  The class itself was also very enjoyable, despite only being syllabus day. To put it simply, my expectations were pretty high after that first class. However, I was still mostly in winter break mode, as I promptly went home and watched four episodes of Parks and Recreation before heading back out into the cold for my second class.

As a creative writing major, I am exempted from one of the six core classes required by KU in order to get my B.A. in English in exchange for taking a butt-load of creative writing courses.  The incessant over-achiever in me had, however, decided that taking that sixth course–in this case, Shakespeare–would be a good idea, not because I wanted the enrichment the course would give me, but because then I could say that I graduated within both the creative writing and English literature tracks of the major. Such an honest motive, such a terrible decision.

To be perfectly honest, Shakespeare at KU does not have the best reputation.  Most of the regular professors who teach the class on rotation get mild reviews from students, perhaps leaning slightly more towards the negative side of things.  Lots of “drones on and on in lectures,” “gets easily sidetracked,” and “easy grader, difficult assignments,” etc. (Let me reiterate: these are the reviews for many, but not all, of the professors who teach this class on a rotational basis).  And to be fair, Shakespeare is probably not an easy course to teach, let alone learn. Still, I knew going into the class that it was not going to be my favorite.  However, what I was not expecting was the syllabus I was handed that first day. I think the second I read the course assignments section I began to hyperventilate a wee bit.  The class required reading twelve plays (that much I knew ahead of time; all the Shakespeare courses required that intense reading schedule) but it also included a midterm exam (granted, the exam was a take-home test), a final exam, and two 2,500-3,000 word essays (which I later confirmed with my roommate is roughly 8-10 pages double-spaced).  Now, obviously none of this is insanely strenuous, and I have done all of these–taken midterms and final exams, written papers (some of them twice as long as these word requirements)–I’ve even done a combination of test-taking and paper-writing.  However, I’ve never taken on two lengthy essays in combination with two cumulative tests and this much reading, on top of three other course workloads and job searching/post-grad planning as well.

I believe my exact inner-monologue went a little something like this: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” 

Needless to say, I high-tailed it out of that class as fast as I could, spending the next 36 hours in pure anxiety, trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do before finally getting permission to switch into a nonfiction writing class, something that, in the long run, has way more writing involved, but is a bit more my style, as far was work requirements go.

But shortly thereafter, I began to panic again, wondering if maybe I needed to take that Shakespeare class. Or worse yet, what if I had somehow overlooked something, and wouldn’t be able to graduate this semester?  Clearly, my anxiety is well-rooted in the illogical.  A quality of my character that I am sure my adviser finds endearing and not at all overbearing.

These two incidents are actually related, in retrospect, but that hasn’t stopped me from feeling completely excessive about both.

I posted a Facebook status about my feelings of anxiety towards this latter half, actually. That’s how I can tell the emotions are getting the best of me.  When I publicize myself, I am usually looking for fast-assurance and comfort when I can find none for myself, usually in the most dramatically-worded way I can come up with.  In this case, I described the feeling as though I was forgetting to pack something for a very long trip, even though I had been over the list again and again and could not remember what it was I thought I had forgotten. Thankfully, I am friends with my adviser on Facebook, and as soon as she saw my status she recognized my call for help and double-checked for me, clarifying on my account which emphasis I was under, so that my course requirements will show up correctly for my transcripts and graduation.

So now I am reduced to simply being anxious. Not about anything in particular, but just in general.  Perhaps as the weeks progress and I begin to function more consistently within a schedule again this feeling will go away.  Perhaps it won’t. Perhaps entering the real world means a certain level of anxiety all of the time.  However, I’ve always been a bit anxious. You’d think after so many years, it would start to dull itself and become less of an issue, but I suppose that isn’t the way things work when it comes to worry. I feel that, in that way, life is a bit like being Winnie the Pooh–always a little concerned, but always searching for the bright side as well.

Perhaps, in life, we are all Pooh bears.

Here’s to hoping “It’ll be fine,” as my dear adviser would say.

Until next Monday,

Yours truly,

tlc

I Am the Best Friend in All the Movies

Sometimes, I wish I wore midriffs, and hoop earrings, and pulled them off.  Sometimes, I wish I enjoyed Latino club music, and looked good dancing to it.  Sometimes, I wish there was a point to this blog.

But, as usual, life evades my sometimes-desires.

I’ve spent years trying to make my awkwardness look cool.  My sophomore year of high school was spent wasting all of my first-job earnings on sequined tops that resembled everything in Hannah Montana’s closet. I was described as ‘quirky’ by all of my classmates, and I spent the rest of high school hoping that Zac Efron or one of the Jonas Brothers would show up in class and ask me to prom.  (A fact that proves my inability to determine what was actually cool from what was inherently just an extension of my awkwardness).

In college, I started to embrace my lack of coolness a bit more, but that may have been a subconscious effort to fit in with the hipsters.  Besides, my awkwardness has only increased ten-fold with each year.  It’s to the point where I fall up the stairs 99% of the time.

Still, I’ve learned to love my un-coolness. I may not be the skinny, pretty blonde lead, but I’m okay with my best-friend status in life.  You see, if there’s something I’ve learned from every single Disney movie ever, it’s that the lead characters are never the most interesting or entertaining.  In fact, Snow White and her many princess companions are really kind of dull beyond their looks.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Disney princesses (maybe a little too much).  But they aren’t particularly entertaining.  Pretty face, pretty voice, but they don’t make me laugh. They don’t have brains. (Well, that point is arguable, but I won’t get into that here.) No, if you want to make life interesting you have to be a Dwarf. Or a mouse. Or Robin Williams.

That’s why I’m okay with being the sidekick. That’s why I’m okay with being the average looking woman with a great personality (maybe I’m a bit bias since I have to live with me for the rest of my life).  Someone’s got to carry the film and make sure it sells.  I’m okay with that. I don’t like sappy romance movies, anyways.  They’re a little too obnoxious for my tastes.

I do kind of wish I didn’t fall into so many awkward moments, though. That would make my life 100% more comfortable.

In other news, my infant nephew has been dubbed “Poolander” (Get it?).  A chip off the ol’ awkward block, eh?  Looking forward to the many years I have ahead of me, teaching the little guy that it’s okay to be Luke and not get the girl, or Han Solo and not be a Jedi. We’ll see where his priorities lay.

So, to sum up: My life is basically Hermione minus her intuitive awesomeness and ability to woo sports celebrities, and I’m totally happy with that.  Maybe someday I’ll spill my coffee running into some poor chap and we’ll bond over my awkwardness. Maybe we’ll live happily ever after. Or maybe I’ll get a really lovable, fluffy dog, and that’ll be great too. It’s all up in the air at this point.

Life: A fine, smelly, metaphorically awkward cheese. How delicious.

Until we meet again,

 

Yours truly,

tlc

Sometimes, being a kid at heart also means being a kid in the brain.

I am a seven-year-old in a twenty-one year-old body, and sometimes that’s not a good thing.

I typically pride myself in being too immature to understand that openly admitting that I am secretly one-third my biological age is probably not a good thing, but some days, trying hard not to grow up comes back to bite me in the butt.

Sure didn’t see that one coming, did I?

Normally, my life involves being mesmerized by the analytic break-down of children’s literature and its meaning, getting lost in the nostalgia of Disney and its social implications, and serenading strangers.  Kid stuff, am I right?

But sometimes, finding my inner-Peter Pan means saying and doing a lot of stupid stuff. (No, serenading strangers is not stupid. I have the voice of an angel, so you’re welcome.)

I’ve wondered for a while now: is there an invisible line of life that you cross at some point, and people stop questioning if you are right or wrong based on your age and presumed knowledge/experience in the world?  Or do we all bull shit our way through the rest of our lives until we die and can no longer be proven wrong, or become Gandhi?

I guess I’m basically doomed to live my life out blubbering and bumbling my way through social interactions.  Yay.

The worst part, though, is when I fail at writing. For me, that’s like Peter Pan letting Captain Hook defeat him with a sword, or President Snow pwning Katniss with a bow and arrow.  Maybe I shouldn’t metaphorically compare my writing to a weapon, but seriously, if someone tried to mug me on the street, I would cut them. With my words. On pen and paper. (thanks for the phrase, Jay.)

So I guess I’m only as strong as the world is literate, but my biggest enemy actually isn’t any physical being outside of myself at all. My own worst enemy (forgive the cliche and song reference) is myself when it comes to writing. Sometimes, I make drunk decisions about my writing completely sober, which leads me back to the idea that my brain is sometimes only as developed as a seven-year-old’s.  (My apologies to any seven-year-old reading this; you deserve better than a comparison to me. Go read some Shakespeare and talk about the use of jibberish in Lewis Carroll.  It will heal your soul.)

You see, as an English major I’ve gotten very good at running my mouth via my hands.  So well, in fact, that I’ve apparently convinced you I’m good enough at it for you to have read this far into this post.

But running my mouth can also make me a complete ass, in the most passive way possible.  And I hate it.

Then why do it?

Well, most of the time I don’t know I’m even doing it until suddenly I realize the ground is no longer under my feet, and the rocky abyss beneath the cliff that is my manners is coming up fast towards me.  Also, I grow really ugly, hairy ears and start barking like a donkey.

Okay, maybe that last bit was a poorly exaggerated joke.

But this is where my seven year-old ways really start to kick in, because not only do they inhibit my ability to act like a grown adult, my obsession with Disney princesses has made it physically impossible for me to be anything but nice, and when I’m not nice, I just feel horrible.  Frankly, when I’m not nice, I kind of wish the metaphorical cliff of manners that I’m falling off of was real.

That’s a bit extreme.

Yeah, well, I’m seven years-old on the inside and still very much a drama queen.

Just another reason why my life is like: People–can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.

Life is rough. Talking is rough. Writing is most permanently rough.  But I still love it. And you, dear one-anonymous-person-who-reads-my-blog.  If I ever say anything mean about you, just know that somewhere I am sitting, staring at myself in the mirror, trying to figure out which pair of shoes best matches my horribly ugly ass-ears.

I hope your life and writing are swell. Maybe the next time we meet, I’ll be well away from that metaphorical cliff.

Yours truly,

tlc

 

The Hunchback of Notre Dame: The preliminary for Tangled?

So I don’t know how many of you are Disney fanatics like I am, but I used to LOVE The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Admittedly, I remember some scenes did frightened me, but that was part of the thrill of the film. Besides, the real reason anyone (me) watches movies as a child is for the music–and to sing along (is that only me too? Oh. Alright.).

It’s been years since I actually watched the movie, however. Don’t get me wrong–I’ve been keeping up PLENTY on my Disney addiction.  Beauty and the Beast is my go-to, feel-good movie.  (Inner Child Age = 5yrs old) However, in the last few weeks, I’ve been on a real Disney music kick, and I have to admit, if there is one film whose music trumps all other Disney films’ music, (as far as number of catchy tunes goes) it’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. So today, while folding laundry, I decided to kill the time by watching the film. Now, I know the film has some incredibly dark themes, and I’ve been warned before by friends that there are several things in the film that you don’t pick up as a child, but–

Seriously guys, what is wrong with this movie?
I haven’t even made it through the first half of the film, and already I am wondering how my parents ever let me watch this thing.  I even had a little suitcase with Esmeralda on it as a child; little did I know I was rolling around a depiction of Disney’s most obvious sex symbol.  Yeesh.

And what about that Frollo dude, I mean, right?  He’s got the creep turned up to x1000 and constantly lives on the edge…of sexual assault and harassment.  Not to mention he’s a lying, murdering, sacrilegious crow-like character. Seriously, take a look at this dude, if you think your eyes can handle it:

Seriously, is this not the scariest Disney character you’ve ever laid eyes on?

(Btw: while looking this photo up, I realized that there are, for some reason beyond my comprehension, a lot of fan-made pictures of this guy with several other female characters from a variety of Disney films.  Weird. Totally weird.)

But despite the alarming number of un-kid-friendly things going on in this film, I couldn’t help but make continuous connections back to  Tangled. I know what you’re thinking–Tangled, really?  That is just beyond insane.

What does this:

Yay! Happy Lights!

 

Have to do with this:

 

Holy crap there’s a lot of people in this photo.

????

Well, for starters, Quasimodo seems to have a very Rapunzel-like conundrum in being FORBIDDEN from leaving his bell tower in Notre Dame. Not that, like Rapunzel, he listens to his “master”–Frollo–just as Rapunzel doesn’t listen to her mother.  In fact, I seem to recall that Frollo and Mother Gothel lay some very similiar reasons for why both Quasimodo and Rapunzel should never venture outside of their towers.

Flynn Rider and Phoebus also seem to share many of the same character traits, if it wasn’t obvious from things like this:

and this:

I mean, it sort of makes sense that Disney would look for influence in the one other film that deals with that creepy, weird relationship between parent/abductor/oppressor and not-your-real-child/oppressed-yet-strangely-still-normal-and-independent

Right?

Well, whether I’ve made my point or not, I think I’ve dwelled on the useless topic long enough. But, if you have any of your own thoughts about this, other Disney films, or even which film you think has the best music, please contribute a comment below!

Yours truly,

tlc