Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Rant About Friends

I remember a conversation I once had. It was at a party at Katrina's house during my Senior year, I was standing around the bonfire with Katrina's dad and a couple of her aunts and uncles. At this time, I was close with them as Katrina was my best friend. But I remember Katrina's  Aunt Michelle coming out and saying blatantly, "You know that you won't be friends with any of these friends you have in high school by the time you graduate. You'll all go off and do your own thing, lose contact with each other and will never be friends again."

Usually I just humor her aunt, it's easier that way sometimes, but at that moment I said, "I don't see that happening."

She just said, "Whatever. We'll see."

Nothing like a Tim Horton's run. So much has come up during those coffee runs, and they are some of my favorite memories. These people actually understand why we go there ALL THE TIME.

At the time, I knew that she had a few beers in her system, and though that always made her more apt to say things she wouldn't, this time I had a inkling that she was wrong.

And for the most part, she has been. It's interesting. I went into the college experience from an interesting Senior summer that included a jaw surgery, getting my driver's license and spending some of the best times of my life with my close friends around Lapeer. I knew it was all changing once I hit Flint, but at the same time, I didn't really know what to expect.

It's interesting looking back, now finished with my 4th year of college and to see what friends I do have. I say it's interesting because yes, my friend's list has changed, but there are a few important people who are still there. 

What a great trip! Seeing the bestie in Grand Rapids!

Katrina, for one. Her own aunt told me we wouldn't be friends by this time. But in 11 days, I am driving out to Grand Rapids to watch my best friend walk across that stage and receive her diploma. And I haven't been prouder. Katrina has worked her ass off for that degree, and well, I am happy to have been there for all of it.

But there was a time when it was all in doubt. There was some time in 2009 when my friends and I parted ways and I did things for myself for awhile there. Though I know why this happened, I'm glad that second chances sometimes need to happen. I'm glad that we gave each other a second chance at friendship, because some of them have become closer than ever before. Luna and I were close in 8th grade when we went on the Washington D.C. trip together. I will never forget her for introducing me to Baklava and Pocky on that trip. I also will never forget the laughs we had that whole time picking on Courtney. But we lost each other in high school for a bit but in the last couple of years, I have become closer than ever with her. I plan runs to Tim Horton's just to spend time with her and get her out of the house. She makes me smile and laugh daily.

But Courtney, is another example of how a friendship can be lost over the years. In high school, we were like peas and carrots. Always together. Whenever someone broke his heart, or something happened at home, I was the friend he came to when he needed to talk it out and have a good cry. After high school, he found his new friends, and though he associates with us via Facebook (but never answers back) it has gotten awkward at times. He is marrying his fiance in less than a month. None of his "old friends" as we now call ourselves, were invited, even his best friend Zach who grew up with him. Low blow man, low blow.

New Year's 2011. 

But sometimes second chances are beautiful things. Josh gave me a second chance (and even third actually) and well, we are still great friends. Even though he lives in Georgia, we are trying to plan a trip to meet in the middle and have a few days of good times. And interestingly enough, second chances are not just received, but given. Not more than about 5 months ago did Zac Sanborn ask for forgiveness in his own way. For apologizing for how much of an asshole he was in high school, he asked for me to realize how much he had changed. He had told me that I saved his life with my endless optimism. Some may say that was flattery, but I came to learn that it was the truth.

I haven't been happier with the decision. The amount of things I have gotten through in talking with Zac in the past few months have been insurmountable. It is true, he knows more about me than about 99% of the people I know do, but at the same time, he has let me come into a confidence about myself that I never had before. We have fostered a friendship that I don't think will ever go away for the rest of my life.

These are my girls, getting ready for another crazy night out on the town.

It's all interesting how relationships happen. On my very first day of college, in my English class, my professor told us to turn to someone, share our contact information just in case we missed class. The person I turned to was Tanisha on that fateful afternoon. And 2 years down the road, she became my roommate and we have become such close friends. And Abijah, being Tanisha's friend, naturally fell into place as one of my good friends as well. And Mindu, she was just put in our room as our last roommate, and it was a relationship that I cherish. She'll always be my Indian roommate, no matter if she's living in Boston now with her husband or not.

Some friendships become more. If you told me last year that I would be happily in a relationship, I probably would say you were being too hopeful. Not that I didn't want one, I just didn't see myself ever being "wanted" by someone. But then Kevin came along. I met Kevin just after I lost Sam, in a nursing class. And we became friends. Kevin learned everything about me, he became one of my best friends. And now he is my boyfriend. Let me just say this, becoming friends with the person you end up in a relationship with first is such a good idea. You get over the awkward "this is what I do for a living," "my favorite blah blah is." And it makes for a stronger relationship because they know what upsets you, they know what you cherish and they know how to cheer you up in the long run. Seriously, don't friendzone.

Oh Kevin :)

All-in-All though, Katrina's Aunt Michelle was right at some point. See my friend's list isn't the same as if was 4 years ago. At the end of high school, I had my friends from Lapeer, and that was about it. But after 4 years of college, I have the friends from high school that mattered, I have friends from high school that I never expected to be friends with now, friends from high school who have become better friends (this includes you Jessica!) and my friends who my college experience has added to the mix. I'm sure that as the years come, these friendships will be challenged, shaped and strengthened. And new friends will be added to the mix.

Friends are the family that you pick for yourself. Sometimes you aren't as close to your family, and your friends step in. Friends listen to you, and they know you'll listen to them when you need it. They are the people you call upon when you need to rant, when you need someone to come pick you up from whatever situation, the people whose shoulders you cry on when sad and upset and the people who'll ask you who they need to kill when that happens.

I have chosen myself a lovely family of friends who have been there for so much. And I thank God everyday for letting these people come into my life and making it better. I love you all, you are all good people. Let's change the world together!

My bestie. This girl has seen me angry (Which doesn't happen often), seen me sick, sad, crying, and happy. Really, name an emotion, I'm sure she's been there for it (or helped over the phone). From squeals over what was happening on Glee to discussing life, this girl will forever be my sister.

This one's for you: Trina, Luna, Hoffa, Zac, Kevin, Abijah, Tanisha, Mindu, Jess, Jessica, Boesler, Sarah, Colonel, Guida, Cody, my lovely cousin Molly (who is also such a wonderful friend) and everyone else who makes me get through another day with a smile on my face!

1. Raise Your Glass- P!nk
2. Battery- Metallica
3. Everything's Not Lost- Vitamin String Quartet
4. Leave The Light On- Garth Brooks
5. Dirty Little Secret- The All-American Rejects
6. Be Like That- 3 Doors Down
7. Still- Matt Nathanson
8. Some Day- Shinedown
9. Hit Me Baby One More Time- Bowling for Soup
10. In Another's Eyes- Garth Brooks /w Trish Yearwood
11. Memories- Panic! at the Disco

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Busy Bee and Other Thoughts

Ah life has been busy as of late, not that it isn't always busy, but there are some days where I just don't feel that I can catch a breath. The semester is winding down, I'm trying to keep myself motivated to finish strong and not give in to my bed that is saying that I don't spend enough time in it, my immune system is kicking it in high gear to keep me from getting sick with the stress. Oh life...

But a lot of the busyness has been fun! Last Thursday evening, Zac, Hoffa and I went to Oakland to see Guida. I hadn't seen him since December and well...I missed him. I remember times when I saw him almost everyday and summers when I saw him often. I missed my Guida hugs and just talking to him about music things that he understands. We went out to Steak N Shake which was quite wonderful. I had a yummy strawberry banana shake and such. Then we went and walked around Great Lakes Crossing. It's a mile all around, and well, after the meal, it was nice getting a walk in. Then we just hung and talked for awhile before taking Guida back to Oakland.

After that, we grabbed Luna in Lapeer and had some Timmie Ho's. Jessica came to join us. We had wonderful conversation, many laughs AND we met the book lady that always sits in there reading when we are there. Her name is Jill and she is one of the owners of the Bookshelf in Lapeer, a new/used bookstore that has been there for many years!

You can see "The Book Lady" aka Jill in the background lol
I had Friday off so I slept verrrryyyy late (which is what I needed) and when Kevin got out of work at 5, he took me over to his house. He had moved recently and I hadn't seen his new house. He is now country folk lol! He moved from being in the city all his life to a house on a dirt road. It makes me laugh at the things he and his parents don't know about living on a dirt road, including the grating and the dust treatments. And how to drive on a back road. OH MY! Don't even get me started. I just hope that Kevin learns before something happens!

Anyway, we had a wonderful dinner. I got to spend time with his dad again (for the 2nd time ever...since he is normally working when I go over for dinner. He works 2nd shift). They invited me over for dinner on Saturday, even though Kevin wasn't going to be there. You know your boyfriend's parents approve when you are invited over when he isn't there!

That night we went out to Theta Chi, a fraternity, for a Luau party. That is always a wonderful time. We followed that with some Mega for some breakfast. 

Saturday morning I had to work, then I headed out to Kevin's house. It has been decided that: a) my car is cooler than Kevin's and b) that I am on babysitting duty when his parents 25th wedding anniversary comes up in June. They put me in charge since they don't trust Kevin :P!

Sunday I went to meet more of Kevin's extended family at his Aunt's house in Clio. I laughed because most of them were like, "and you must be Amelia." While they couldn't remember some family member's names that have been around, they knew mine when they never met me. I guess Kevin having a girlfriend is news, but it was nice meeting them. There was an epic Easter Egg Hunt (633 eggs!), and a silly string fight. After the party, Kevin and I went to see Titanic in 3D in Grand Blanc. I totally noticed things I never noticed before (including how bad the acting truly is causing me to laugh at times that I shouldn't have.) 

Other thoughts...

Remember this, watch how you portray your thoughts in your face during conversation. Most conversational cues are taken from physical expression not what is said. This is why the written word needs to be so detailed. To understand a situation, you also need to understand the expression used on the face. This being said, you may not portray through words an opinion on someone, but your eyes, mouth and other cues may give another impression to those you are speaking with. Such as pity, you can say one thing, but with the look on your face, it may be taken as pity. Or guilt, or sadness. These expressions are complicated but easily understood, even when the words you are saying are not expressing that. As someone who has studied the psychological arts (including the work of Paul Eckman for several months), I understand facial cues on a different level than some. I don't want to be seen as conceited by saying that, I am just stating that I can read more into conversations than others (which always makes life much more interesting).

Also know that the whole story should be known. I understand that I pointed some fingers that shouldn't have been pointed, but I have also noticed how different the "story" is from each party. I will say this, I was wrong with how I wrote that out. I was angry, and as one family member said, "I brought people down in my healing process." Sometimes when things build up, you need to get them out. I am not ashamed in what I wrote, I am not going to rescind it but I will apologize for the strong feelings I made you all feel. To the aunt that cried, to the aunt that got angry and cast me off, to the aunt that thinks I've gone crazy, I apologize for making you feel those things. I do not apologize for what I said. I think we all need to take away from this that the "story" is not clear still, as differing parties have different views of how it all went. 

I will also state that there were times when I was young and you were trying to protect me from the world. I understand now you were protecting me. But now I don't need to be protected per se. I need to know what really happened. I should have approached the subject in this matter, but I didn't. And it made people upset. That's life, it happens. Maybe someday, far down the road, we'll all come to an understanding that it all needed to be let out, to no longer eat away at my heart and mind and cloud everything. I am thinking much more clear about life, and my future. It was part of my healing process and I know that to some, it was wrong. To some, it was a long time coming. To others, it was daring and needed. Yes, I brought others down in flames with me, there were better ways to go about it, but at the same time, you listened. You reacted. For once, it wasn't all ignored and swept to the side. I understand that I won't be going to the Tubing Bash, I won't be welcomed at certain homes for holidays, that I burned bridges. I will deal with that as it comes. I will make my own traditions, I will still lead my life in whatever manner comes. When my times comes, everything that has been said and done will be between me and God.

I did say at the beginning of the year that 2012 was going to be a year of change. And well, it is beginning. I am no longer angry, with any of you. I just want you to know that. Maybe in the future, we can wipe the slate clean, I'll agree to not judge you on past transgressions is you promise to do the same. For now, I don't see that in the near future. I don't even think any of you are reading this right now. 

For now I'll aim towards this:
  • Classes ending next Monday
  • 2 papers, 2 finals, and 2 performances at Commencement before summer
  • Moving to 317
  • Enjoying my summer with friends and Kevin as much as I can.
  • Finding another job
  • Living life
  • Getting everything set in stone to finish my last year at UM-Flint and graduating next April/May

1. Famous Last Words- My Chemical Romance
2. Open Up Your Eyes- Daughtry
3. Never Too Late- Three Days Grace
4. The Dance- Garth Brooks
5. Dig- Incubus
6. Declaration- David Cook
7. Whiskey Lullabye- Allison Krauss/Brad Paisley
8. White Blank Page- Mumford & Sons
9. Dreaming With A Broken Heart- John Mayer

Another photo for good measure. I love these girls!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Oh April...

Ah, it is now the lovely month of April and some things are setting in. One of them is that I will be moving rooms in less than a month...which means that packing and cleaning will need to commence...VERY SOON! I'm still waiting to hear word as to someone moving into my room for the summer...if they aren't I will be able to keep a majority of my things in my room for the summer...just packed up. Which means I will still need to pack. eee gads!

Being as it's April, it is no longer March, which means there was a new white board picture!

March 2012 was full of many memories. My bro and his fiance came to visit. Celia, one of the girls who I know through band and lives here at RF came over, Zac (aka the other man) was over several times, Kevin turned 21 (and still parties like a bitch...but he's learning). We realized we still miss Mindu. Tanisha told me hilarious Blayne stories. I took on the word. We played lots of Rockbans and well, it was just an interesting month. 

Tuesday evening my friend Steve (aka Hoffa) came over for the first time. He had never hung out in my apartment in Flint, which needed to be remedied. So that was a night of Rockband, and then just some hangout time. We had some enlightening conversations which were an all over good time. Hoffa is my bro and I know the he would protect me if needed. I love that kid.

It was also the night of the official invention of The Hoffa:

1oz Smirnoff Raspberry Vodka
1oz Smirnoff Watermelon Vodka
1/2oz Watermelon Pucker
1/2oz Peach Schnapps
5oz Monster Khaos Energy Drink

Served over ice.

Last night was my last band concert of this school year. We played a variety of music from throughout the year. Two of my favorite pieces we played were Summer Dances by Brian Balmadges and October by Eric Whitacre. Though I was worried that the concert wasn't going to go to well (Rehearsals the day of always make you feel like you're going to be horrible), it ended up going rather well. I hadn't been in the band much this semester since I only was going once a week due to my French class being during rehearsal time on Mondays (I asked if this was all right beforehand) and some other things coming up. I am happy to say that next fall, I will be back 100% and making music, this whole going to band once a week thing really actually kinda sucked. It made me realize how much I will miss making music after I graduate. I guess then it'll be time to fit a community band into my schedule! I see playing clarinet as something I will do for the rest of my entire life. It is something that is important to me, and well, it's worth it!

Okay off my soapbox!

Book review(s):

So, I decided since this is MY blog, that I would share other aspects of my life. I have become a lot more organized with my time this semester, after figuring out how to balance everything, and have had time to read plenty of books. For pleasure. I say that because many college students don't spend time reading for pleasure. Let me say, it CAN be done. I work part-time, go to school full-time, am currently pulling a 3.8 this semester AND read for fun.

Over the past few months I've read some really enjoyable books, some I've had for a while and wanted to read. One of them was The Vow. I actually bought this after I heard of the movie coming out. I had started reading it before after borrowing it from a library, but never finished. This time, I read it all in 4 hours and it was a great story about love, faith and hanging in there when the going gets tough. Kevin and I saw the movie for Valentine's Day and it doesn't even give justice to the book. Shame.

Another one I've held on to for a long time was The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. I will say this, I am an UTTER Sparks fan. I own everything he's ever written. He is such a great story teller. But when I bought this one over 2 years ago, I just couldn't get into it. It started out a little slow for my taste. Every time I picked it up, I would get to about the 3rd chapter and not go on. But this time, I kept going. The movie for it is coming out soon, and I just can't justify seeing a movie until I've read the book. It was worth it. The story, though a little slow at the beginning, picks up as you notice the secrets that make everything suspenseful. Then the end, though in every Nicholas Sparks book someone (or some animal) passes away, he has gotten better at surprising you with how it happens. I read his book, The Best of Me last semester (another amazing book) and those surprising endings get you! I warn you though, don't pick one of his books up if you aren't prepared to cry.

Then I read The Hunger Games Series. The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay are just as amazing as I've always heard they are. I have heard about them for over a year now, with just how good they are, and I finally ordered them when I ordered my textbooks for this semester. The movie for The Hunger Games was coming out, and like I said, I read the book before seeing the movie. Always. I devoured the first book in 2 days. The story of the distopian future of our world after years of going downhill, the districts controlled by one capitol. The book was very well written and kept you guessing. It led right into Catching Fire which I read in one day. Started in the morning and finished by late that night. It led right into Mockingjay which I read over a few days (hey, it was Kevin's birthday/St. Patty's day weekend...I was busy!). I don't want to give too much away on them because YOU SHOULD GO READ THEM, LIKE NOW! But I have to say this: The movie was the best movie from book adaption I have ever seen (Other than The Last Song which the author wrote the movie before the book). They kept in all they could and changed very little. I heard that the screenplay was written by Suzanne Collins (the author) which may have been why it was so good.

Right now I am reading The Help. I'll make sure to let you know what I think when I finish. Then I need to rent that movie and watch it since I've heard it is also really good (And well, like I said, I have to read the book first!)

All book titles have been linked to their respective Amazon pages so if you feel the need to find out more/BUY THEM...feel free! :)

Coming Attractions:

  • This afternoon, I am off to Oakland to see our friend Guida. I haven't seen him in five-ever (longer then forever). Actually it has been since Christmas break and that was for a rather short time. But I guess he has a girlfriend who I am excited to meet.  (I felt like a proud mama when he told me that haha). We have plans to get some Steak N Shake which I have an awesome coupon for thanks to the huge coupon book I got from Aunt Linney for Christmas. It's time to get s discount on ALL THE FOOD!
  • I don't work Friday or Sunday. I heard a rumor of going to a Theta Chi party on Friday. Them Theta boys are the best. Me gusta!
  • I'm spending Easter with Kevin's family...which means I get to meet more of them. I'm not going to lie, I am rather nervous. Easter is at his aunt's house, there is an Easter egg hunt and everything. It should be a nice afternoon to say the least (and we're both looking forward to holiday food which is always the best)
  • Later this month, I am hosting what is called the "Pink Party." Why? Because I have these awesome pink solo cups I want to use. We are going to drink pink drinks, eat pink things (I'm trying to get Abijah to make pink cupcakes) and just celebrate the semester being over (it's after finals week) before Tanisha and I move out of 512 for the summer. I can't wait for our last year in that room, we miss Mindu but we both hope that our next roommate will be awesome (of course, I don't think they can be as awesome as Mindu!)


1. Summer Dances- Brian Balmadges
2. Amaryllis- Shinedown
3. Second Chance- Shinedown
4. October- Eric Whitacre
5. My Name (Wearing Me Out)- Shinedown
6. Kids in the Street- The All-American Rejects

Only 11 more days til my last class, 18 til my last exam and 24 until my last UM related activity until September!!!