Monday, June 13, 2011

...On Happiness.

Me last summer - child-like happiness right here.

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. ~Frederick Keonig"

Today was an ordinary day. Monday's tend to become that way somehow. None the less, the sun was shining, and I was able to fill my lungs with air and be alive.

I got to thinking today after I couldn't figure out why exactly I was in such a stand-out, sunshiney, skippity-do-da mood on such an ordinary Monday. Legit, I was whistling, dancing, laughing, all day long. It wasn't until this evening when I caught myself in a full out dance off...WITH NO MUSIC ON...that I said..."Hold the freaking phone, why the HELL AM I SO HAPPY?" I mean, I am by no means a miserable person. I am as optimistic as the next blonde; usually swirling a cotton candy finish over most situations, all while rockin out my rose-colored glasses. On the same token, I can be moody, emotional, and sensitive and some days just go through the motions with little vigor or passion.

Whenever my mood teters toward an extreme...i.e. in an un-usually happy mood, or an un-usually bitchy mood, etc...I tend to dissect WHY it is that I am in that mood (and people tell me that I think too much or over-think things...ha.) So this evening after I slapped myself across the face for dancing like an animal to no music, I decided on a few core reasons:

1. Excelling at Work Rocks.
Almost 7 months in to the first "real" job of my life, I feel like a wheeling-dealing bad ass. Now, I don't make a ton of money and am really doing nothing glamourous; but I am devoting my sanity, time, and perfection-honing OCD tendencies to this position. And I think I am getting the hang of it. There is something to be said about the satisfaction the comes from fully emerging yourself into something, and seeing results...even if there as mundane as someone complimenting something you did. Sometimes I even surprise myself! How fantastic is it that women can be successful and don't have to marry super young, just because they can't financially support themselves without a husband!? 2011 rocks. Women rock. I am really loving the word "rock" lately. (Have you noticed?)

2. Sunshine/Summer
Might as well give me a pitcher of margaritas or a cereal bowl of Xanax, because that is what the sun and summertime does for me. The smells in the air, the warm breeze, lush greenery everywhere you turn, street fairs, beer gardens, bonfires...I mean what's not to love about summer? I sometimes feel like I get the most remarkable natural highs just from being outside when it's nice out in Chicago. Have us northerners been depleted so much by Old Man Winter and Cold Shitty Spring (for lack of a funnier name) that we feel like we're on DRUGS from the weather? I believe this to be sad, but true. Regardless, doesn't change the fact that nothing...nothing beats a Chicago summer. Don't believe me? Go to a Cubs game during the day, hit North Avenue Beach for happy hour, drive down Lake Shore drive with the windows down, have dinner outside in a beer garden, and end the evening on a rooftop overlooking the skyline with a glass of wine. I promise you, you will come to agree the same.

3. Endless Possibilities.
People who aren't engaged or married at my age are slowly becoming a dying breed. It seems like one after another, the chips are falling for everyone. This is all good and well, for everyone is on their own path. However, for the remaining single-tons have something pretty bad ass going for them. When it's just YOU that you're responsible husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend...your life might as well be some Nickolodeon Gak. You can mold it, twist it, stretch it, can even make it into wildly inappropriate shapes if you want. Point being, the possibilities...they are endless for you. You and you alone are in charge of your destiny. That's a pretty badass thing the wrap your head around. The realization of those endless possibilities have been a huge slice of my happy pie. It is such an exhilarating, frightening, and intoxicating idea of the different roads you could travel down. This is all until the very next day you realize this, you meet your soulmate on a street corner at 2am, and then it isn't before long that you are crossing over to "the other side."

I could honestly go on and list a thousand other things that are making me happy these days. But how annoying is it to hear someone go on and on about how happy they are? The point of this post is to encourage you to think of things that make you happy in your life. Everyone has their own criterion for what makes them happy; and no two people's will be the same. And that is AWESOME. It's like happiness diversity! Put on your rose colored glasses and remind yourself why your life is actually pretty stinkin' awesome. Because every now and then, we just need to do that.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Libby Lu

When I was 19, I got my very own car. I technically had means of transportation before this; however, it was a shared vehicle and it did not come without battles with my older brother. On the last day of school my Freshman year in college, my parents showed up to pick me up. In one of my typical bratty tirades, I refused to come down to the front of the dorms to meet them. “CAN’T YOU JUST BRING THE BOXES UP WITHOUT MY HELP!?” I was up to my elbows in clothes, Tupperware containers, stilettos, papers, and just SHIT. I was completely un-prepared for their arrival due to my horrific hangover. I eventually stomped off down the 4th floor hallway of Burge, tore down the four flights of stairs, and burst out into the May sunshine complete with my best bitch glare. There, before me was a cherry red Jeep Liberty with a giant white bow on top of it. My mom was standing there with the biggest smile on her face, tears in her eyes, and a set of keys jiggling in her hands (which ironically had a ‘princess’ keychain on it). That day, I met the love of my life – The Lib.
Words cannot express the role that this car has played in my adult life. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? But this Jeep has been there for me through a whole lot of shit. It’s been my escape vehicle; my escape from people, places, bad experiences, the whole gambit. I’ve driven the Lib just about everywhere…including a 17-hour (each way) solo road trip to Canada to visit my boyfriend, one of the Lib’s proudest quests, but not mine. She has been my flee machine from angry late night fights with friends and ex’s. The steering wheel has met my forehead countless moments, when life has gotten so overwhelming, that my neck just crumbles and my face falls into the wheel. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have jumped in the Lib and had no destination whatsoever. I just had to go. She’s driven me to job interviews and provided a private space for me to burst into tears when I didn’t get it. Since I have been living at home post-college, she has truly become an escape vehicle when I need to get away from my parents. She has also been witnessed all sorts of jovial moments in my life too; when I landed a job, when I was driving to Colorado for Spring Break, when I found out that one of my best friends was engaged, on sleepy summer nights when I just needed to clear my head and get a firm grip on my life. There have been funny memories in the Lib as well – like the time I got pulled over by a bike cop at Kinnick Stadium for having 11 drunks jammed in. Or the time that the Lib was detained by the valet at Diamond’s Strip Club because I felt the need to mouth off to the owner. Or the time…wait, I can’t tell you about that time.
There is something about being on the open road that is downright therapeutic. In my car, nobody can judge me. I have come to accept that people will stare when I am jamming out, but I will never see them again. The sound system in the Lib is just about par. It’s nothing great, but it’s not awful and most importantly, it works. The sound system has played songs that have inspired me, even lead me to take a new path in life, been a catalyst for life-altering decisions. The Lib has been my sanity.
I like to look at the simple things in life, things that we take for granted every day, and dissect them, inspect them, think about every facet of them. Your car is one of those simple things that you never really think about, but really plays a huge role in your life. The Lib has 148,698 miles on it as of today. I know that she has precious time left, and when she goes…tears will be shed. I’ll get a new car and make new memories in that car, but as the saying goes, “You’ll never forget your first.”

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hiding and Hermit-ing.

My last post was on December 10, 2010. Now, if you have been following this blog at all, you will know that this is my per usual routine. I make up excuses for my absence and vow to write regularly.

Now, I am not going to blame this absence on anything. But, I will throw a few catalysts on the table.

Let's start with winter. If you know me at all, you would know that I am raging anti-winter anything. I've gotten to the point where even the idea of a "White Christmas" sends me into a frenzied rage of anti-winter slurs. Some people say, "Oh, I hate winter, but I don't mind it when it's Christmas-time." I.MIND.IT. The cold, the snow, the winds, and the endless days of gray skies make for one very un-happy Lindsay. I know a lot of northerners complain about seasonal depression, but I genuinely suffer from it (dibilitated, if you will) Just about the only thing that usually gets me through the winter is drinking and socializing. In particular, I consume mass quantities of red wine (which I recently found out I am allergic to, but that's another sob story for another day). Not this year. Around Thanksgiving, I had the hangover to end all hangovers. As I was face down, praying to the porcelain Gods, shaking, crying, and wanting to die...I had an epiphany. WHY do I drink? A hangover is almost always the end result. And my hangovers aren't just hangovers - they carry into the evening hours and I usually average about 27.7 vomits. And when you're getting dropped off at your car the next morning, and you puke all over your brand new boots, the epiphany solidifies. From Thanksgiving until February 5, 2011 (the eve of my 25th birthday celebration), I...wait for it...spare your gasps...DIDN'T DRINK. This made for one incredibly long winter. So instead of going out on the weekends and partying my face off, I stayed in. I watched too much reality TV, gained about 15 pounds, and enjoyed every minute of it. Now, one would think this was a perfect time to write and blog, but without my social bouncings, I had little material. Not only did I have little material, the lack of sunshine delved me into an angry depressed state. I didn't care about much of anything except escaping into the newest episode of Kim & Kourtney Take New York. My weeks consisted of work, home, sleep, work, home, sleep and so forth.

Another catalyst for my absence was my new job. For anyone that has gone from a completely erratic and free-spirited schedule, to a regimented 40 hour work week, you understand. Almost 5 months into this job and I feel like I am finally getting the hang of the hours. Most nights, I feel so drained that I debate going to bed the minute I get home. My brain has been so fried that writing is the last thing on my mind.

Hermit-ing: (verb): the act of shutting out the world and finding solace in television and shunning social interactions.

I hermit-ed for a long time this winter. Longer than usual. (Never again, by the way). None the less, I was a lazy piece of shit.

But here I am. It's Spring. It's Easter Sunday and the sun is shining. The flowers are starting to peek through the mud and the grass gets greener everyday. I am reminded that life is alive and well, and I feel inspired again. There's more to come - this time - I promise ;)