Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Inspiration for today

Solidarity with the poor is the only path that can lead our nation back to a vision of community that can effectively challenge and eliminate violence and exploitation. It invites us to embrace an ethics of compassion and sharing that will renew a spirit of loving kindness and communion that can sustain and enable us to live in harmony with the whole world.
-bell hooks, from where we stand: class matters

Thursday, February 18, 2010

21 years ago, Sarah Durham was born

Today is my bestfriend/roommate's 21st birthday!!!

I hope today is the perfect day for her. I can't describe just how wonderful she is. She is probably the funniest person I know (but not like one of those people that says really dumb/awkward stuff & then you laugh at them.... like, she's legitimately really funny & witty & clever). She is also probably the most outgoing and friendly person I know. She makes people feel welcome and known; and she remembers names like nobody's business. Someday, she will be on jeopardy & will win. Someday she will also be on SNL. She makes delicious cupcakes and cocktails. I am blessed to know her and call her my bestfriend & roommate. Today we celebrate her 21 vibrant years of life! And I am really sad because I have to work 3-9:30 so I can't go out to dinner with her. But hopefully she will forgive me (and still buy me alcohol when I need her to).


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Each Day is Valentine's Day

Last night, Nathan & I celebrated Valentine's Day. We both had to work on Sunday, so we postponed our own festivities one night.... plus we avoided the crowds! But, I did manage to get a surprise bouquet of roses on Sunday night while I was at work. =)

For our Valentine's Day, we went to eat at Maggiano's Little Italy. It was DELICIOUS. We split the appetizer platter (oh my gosh) and then split 4-cheese ravioli with pesto alfredo sause (oh my gosh x2). It was so filling and delicious. We had a nice, quiet dinner just the two of us. Then we headed back to Nathan's new house to a not-so-quiet puppy!

We ended up "puppy-sitting" Upton for half an hour or so, and he wore us out! Upton has quite a bit of energy, and his teeth are razor sharp. He discovered a fun new game- pouncing on my head & eating my hair. Nathan graciously gave Upton a dirty sock to play with, but that only kept him momentarily occupied. We eventually tired of trying to keep Upton from chewing on everything in the room, so we gave him back to Uncle Alex to watch until his Papa Sean came back to get him.

Once Upton was out of our hair (literally), we got to have some time by ourselves, which is always nice. Not only did I get a wonderful, wonderful evening with my darling Nathan, I also got a pretty new ring!!! =)

What a fun Valentine's Day. One of many more to come!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Creaky Stairs & Cuddly Cats

My darling boyfriend Nathan & his roommates Sean & Alex just moved from their gross old apartment into a creaky, history-filled, deliciously scented, old house with my friend & research partner Ian! There are cute little quirks about the house, and it has so much personality. I'm also selfishly excited that I can use their bathroom without feeling like a need to take a shower, and that there is heating & air conditioning. Oh and there's actually a LIVING ROOM! So wonderful.

But the best thing of all?...... CATS! There are two precious, beautiful cats named Butter & Olive that reside with the boys. They are friendly and docile, and love to snoop around in people's rooms. I am so thrilled to get to cuddle with kitties every time I go over to cuddle with Nathan. What a bonus.

And, we're not done yet..... there's also a PUPPY! Sean found a beautiful blue heeler stray, and he has become a new addition to the family. He's a feisty little guy, and has a serious personality. I love playing with him and getting sloppy puppy kisses. Sean decided against a sacrilegious name for the puppy (thank goodness), and he currently goes by "Upton."

I am discovering that playful pets can give a terrible day a little bit of joy. Cats & dogs are therapeutic. Nathan & I already decided that we will be adopting a cat at some point in our lives. Sooner rather than later. =)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What do they call me?

Well, a lot has been going on lately. This weekend I felt like a big girl because I worked all weekend. I love my coworkers and bosses; I'm really excited about having a job & learning better how to budget & prepare myself to be a full-fledged adult.

As April draws nearer, dance rehearsals become more exhausting and more exciting. I absolutely love the pieces I am in for this show, and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to be challenged artistically in this way. Our dance company director, Debbie, is such an inspirational teacher and choreographer. Whenever we learn new pieces or choreography, she explains to us the message that our movement is conveying. Debbie teaches me to dance with purpose; to tell the stories of people whose voices need to be heard. For Debbie (and as I am learning, for myself), dance is not simply performance for performance's sake; dance is moving, necessary, compelling, and passionate; it is not about me, but the narrative. My favorite piece, "4 Women" is a modern piece telling the story of female oppression, suffering, and liberation. The song alone is chilling, and brings me near tears (not that that is a challenging feat, by any means). The choreography allows me to use movement to express the vast range of experiences and emotions associated with women's liberation. I am learning how to use my artistic tool, my body, to demonstrate the moments of anguish and hopelessness, as well as the moments of strength and courage. I am inspired to be more like the women in this dance piece; I am learning more than just choreography.

In other news, I am planning to start writing my prospectus this weekend. I'm excited, but also really nervous. I will probably post a few different excerpts on here eventually. Although, seeing as how I have informed no one of this blog's existence yet, I suppose it will be more for my own purposes.

Each day I learn something new: about myself, about the world, about love, about life. It's often a challenge, and I seem to fold under the pressure sometimes. But thank God for the people that love me and refuse to give up on me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Refreshing Semester

This semester has been surprisingly refreshing. Some exciting new things have happened:

- I am taking wonderful classes that interest me (Criminal Justice, Social Research Methods, Poverty & Justice, to name a few)
- I have a job!! I'm a barista at Borders, and already loving it.
- I only have class 3 days a week. YES.
- I am dancing in some of the most incredible pieces of choreography I've ever been cast in. And I'm getting to spend a lot more time with my Dance Company friends.
- I am falling more & more in love with my boyfriend every day.
- My 3 best friends are teaching me how to be a better friend & roommate.
- I'm getting in shape.
- We had a snow day. =)
- Several of my friends are engaged!

I'm excited about the direction in which life is heading. I feel more confident and more satisfied with myself and the woman I am growing into.

The future excites me also. Thinking about finishing my thesis, graduating, getting married, and going to graduate school seem so distant, but I know that they are all approaching very quickly. And I am certainly looking forward to each of those things exceedingly much.

I feel very blessed every day of my life. The cynicism and fear that has overwhelmed me for the past year is slowly fading into hope and restoration. I am learning to have a little more confidence in a God that is somewhere out there. I am learning that some of the best, kindest, wisest people are silent in the walls of prison with so much life & joy to share with the world. I am learning that goodness exists in places where most assume only evil and pain reside. I am learning to find happiness and joy in conversations and arguments. I am learning that some of life's most precious moments are the times when I cuddle with Nathan and giggle at his silliness. I am learning to laugh fully and joyfully. And I am learning, above all else, how to love myself & love others to the best of my ability.

A New Adventure

Though I doubt many people will stumble upon this, I have decided to revive my old blog. Welcome!