Thursday, May 24, 2012

This Crazy Life

Birthday shopping with amazing people
I guess this is sort of an update post. Just a head's up on what's been going on in my life.

My birthday was a couple of weeks ago. You may have noticed that I switched my age from "19" to "20" a while back. It's nice being able to say I'm not a teen anymore. Plus I only have one more year until I'm legal to drink in Texas. You have no idea how much I've missed beer. I may sound ridiculous saying it, but it's true. Just like I missed Dr. Pepper while I was in France.

Altogether, it was a good birthday, though. I got some pretty cool gifts from my family and friends. I had a lovely day spending time with those same people. I did end up at a sports bar I didn't know existed in our suburb (don't worry, no drinking of alcohol took place). Let's just say I'm really not the sports-watching type and we definitely felt our IQ points dropping by the minute.

My dad, Uncle Henry, and myself before he got so sick
There's recently been a death in my family. Anyone who follows me on basically any social media site knows this already. I've only mentioned it about a thousand times. It was my Uncle Henry that died, my dad's godfather and one of the funniest and most kindhearted men I know. He was in his late eighties and the situation had been deteriorating for some time now. His Alzheimer's was getting steadily worse and my Aunt Lois was having an especially hard time taking care of him, so I suppose his passing was in his best interest.

Still, it hurt like a blow to the chest. I sobbed when I found out, I cried at the visitation, I wept at the funeral. Everyone in my family cried -- even my dad, whom I've never actually seen shed more than a single tear before. As you probably guessed, that set me off crying even harder.

He meant so much to me, and having to say goodbye hurt more than I could have imagined. I wish I could have spent more time with him and gotten to know him better. I wish I had more pictures with him. I wish I could remember more of his stories. They're all wishes everyone grasps at when a loved one dies, but that doesn't make it any less truthful. His death reminded me how fragile the human life is -- and how we ought never to take it for granted.

A glimpse of my tattoo. :P
In much better news, I got my tattoo on Friday. I love it. It's everything I wanted it to be and the experience was wonderful as well. Alika, my tattoo artist, is incredibly friendly and makes you feel at ease immediately. Not to mention, I'm inherently fascinated by tattoos, so watching him ink both my friend and myself was an incredibly interesting process. Yes, I did watch the entire time I got my tattoo. No, it didn't hurt that bad. Yes, I would and will do it again.

Oh, by the way, it says "Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic". Also, it was on my bucket list, so that's another thing crossed off and one of my New Year's Resolutions completed!

Still no news on the job front. I'm just a tad irritated about that, so I don't really want to talk about it. Crossing my fingers that something will come through soon, though.

My baby brother graduated from high school this weekend, though, and I couldn't be more proud. It's easy to forget that we're not the same age, that we aren't twins, because it feels like it at times. But there's nothing like sitting beside your sister and screaming for your little brother as he crosses the stage to receive his diploma. Two years after my own graduation, my parents have now officially succeeded in getting all three of their children through high school.

Isn't he just adorable?!
Being only seventeen months apart, Mitchell and I have always spent a lot of our time together. I'm not ashamed to admit that he's been my best friend since the beginning and will be my best friend until the end. I'm eternally grateful to my parents for instilling the mentality in us that our siblings will be the only friends that will always be there for you no matter what. And I'm eternally grateful to have the amazing siblings who have always lived that, even when being difficult runs in the family.

Speaking of siblings, Mitchell's graduation meant that Miranda came back in town for a week. We don't get to see my older sister very often, seeing as she lives in Michigan, and it's always nice when she comes down. The last time we had seen her was at Christmas while we were still living in Paris.

I'm always happy about sibling bonding time and I definitely got that with Miranda this time. Seeing as things were pretty crazy with preparing for Mitchell's graduation, that left Miranda and I free for some quality time. She was the one with me when I got my tattoo and all three of us started watching a new manga (well, new for Mitchell and I) called Gurren Lagann that she loves.

Myself and my big sister waiting for the DART after the zoo
The day before she left, Mitchell had already left for senior trip and Mom had gone back to France. Both she and dad were due to leave on the next day to go back to their respective homes. So Miranda decided we should go to the zoo.

Frankly, the idea of zoos freaks me out. Large animals caged only feet from human contact? You can count me out. But Miranda seemed so excited about going that I conceded and went with her to the Dallas Zoo.

We actually had a lot of fun. Miranda fed the giraffe and nearly died with excitement about it, we rode the monorail and agreed that the guide was incredibly attractive, Miranda freaked when we saw the baboons having sex while I nearly died with laughter at her reaction. We even got to take pictures at the photo booth, and anyone who knows me well enough knows how much I adore photo booths. They're my absolute favorite. We almost rode the carousel too, but chickened out when we realized there were a lot of kids and no adults. We decided to wait until we had a kid with us so we wouldn't look like complete morons.

All in all, it's been an interesting couple of weeks, both sad and wonderful. Mostly good, though, and I'm quite happy about that. Life is always changing and I'm excited to see the places that it's taking me.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Twenty


The weird outfit is my Tae Kwon Do uniform. :P

Tomorrow is my twentieth birthday. That means today is my last day as a teenager. Want to know what I did? Homework.
(Okay, I did work in a few episodes of LA Ink and an unintentional midday nap.)
It's a little scary, standing here on the brink of my twentieth birthday. I mean, I know nothing's going to change between today and tomorrow. I won't magically gain bundles of wisdom and whatnot. I won't become suddenly cleverer or more independent.
I'm excited for the same reason that I'm a little worried. I mean, by birthday really just serves as a more obvious reminder that I'm getting older and closer to the dreams I'm trying to make a reality for myself. It's a landmark of where I've been and where I'm going.
I have so many things that I hope to accomplish in the next few years of my life. I have so many dreams and imaginings that make me more and more excited about life. My mission is to reach my dreams and experience life to the fullest and I can't wait to do that.
It's funny when you look back at where you thought you would be when you were a kid. People change so quickly and it's crazy when you think about it. A couple of years ago, I had plenty of ideas of where I would be at this point. I thought I had my life basically planned out. It turned out nothing like what I thought it would be! I didn't expect to have the friends I do now or have lived in Paris, France. I had thought I would be married by now or on my way to graduation college. Neither of those are in my near future now and I don't want them to be. Even looking at the person I was when I graduated high school versus who I am now is pretty weird. I've changed plenty, mostly for the better, and I love who I am today.
I guess it's just weird when you look back at who you are, what you've become, and who you hope to be. Certain things have been constant all the way through, like my writing or my walk with God, while others have shifted substantially or fallen by the wayside.
I couldn't be more excited for life and where it's taking me now. If y'all haven't noticed, I'm a bit of a dreamer (understatement of the year) and devising plans for my future is almost as exciting as seeing myself accomplish those goals.
So, 20, I'm ready for you. This year's gonna be good.