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Archive for December, 2010

2011: No more waiting

The word that I believed would reflect the past year most was change.  Not really.  Everything changed, and yet nothing did.  The expectation of change was so much bigger than me, and when everything happened, and everything was done, it was weird to look around and see that really, in the end…nothing was different.  Nothing, except a piece of paper filed with the Sturbridge, MA clerk’s office…and my last name.

No.  The word that most adequately describes my year 2010 is waiting.

Waiting.  I spent most of 2010 waiting.  Sitting in my room, looking over websites and pictures of weddings, planning our own, thinking about how I would look, how the food would taste, how the music would sound…never believing for an instant that, even two hours after it was all over, I would be hard-pressed to remember the way “Canon in D” sounded as I walked down the aisle, or the taste of the cake we’d chosen so carefully, or really, anything except the look on David’s face when I saw him for the first time at the front of the church, trying so, so hard not to break down in tears.

Last New Year’s Eve, I thought that 2010 would be magical, and it was.  But it was over in a heartbeat, in the bat of a butterfly’s wing.  At the end of the day, David was right, when I tried to wake him up at midnight on Dec. 31, 2009, to ring in what would be our wedding year.

It’s just one year.

One year, in a life (hopefully) full of them.  Since 2008, since David and I came to an understanding that we would marry, months before he actually proposed, I have been lying in wait for 2010.  The year that I would become his wife.  And now that year has come and gone.  And there is a lifetime ahead of us.

And who is to say that 2011, a year I’ve hardly thought about for a second, should not be even greater than 2010?

In truth, our futures have never been brighter.  David starts school in seven days.  Seven days until the course that will finally open the door for his career begins, and everything will change for him then.  His entire demeanor has changed since he got that acceptance letter.  Maybe it’s only in my head, as his oh-so-proud newly-wedded wife, but his shoulders seem straighter, his eyes brighter, his manner lively.  I look at his proud, excited face and realize how lucky I am, that this man of mine has the spark of ambition at last, and he is finally excited and ready to become something amazing.  Yes, I am probably more proud even than he is.

And me?

I saw the film “Tangled” a few weeks ago.  I really liked it.  The opening song, by Mandy Moore, really reflects how I have felt about my life this past year.  It is called “When Will My Life Begin?”, and it’s incredibly accurate, until the last stanza at least.  I’ve been waiting.  Waiting for something incredible to happen, placidly sitting and imagining and not doing much of anything.

This year, it’s time for that to end.  It’s time for my life to really begin.

I’m setting goals.  New things, new experiences, new pursuits.  I’ve joined a book club online and I’m attempting to read 100 books (most of them new, with any luck) by the end of 2011.  I’m meeting new people online, and stretching myself socially, since I’ve always been too shy to go out and meet new friends.  I’m going to take a class in spinning my own yarn, and try something new.  Even if I hate it, well, I will have tried!

Most of all, I’m going to go back to school and finish my History B.A.  I am going to finish.  I am so close, so close I can taste it, and I’m going to complete it.  So I can finally be proud of myself for completing something.  I’m going to figure out what I want to do with my life.  History?  Journalism?  Something totally different?  Yes.  It is time.  I’m twenty-seven and it is time to figure out what I want to do with myself.

And finally, hopefully, I pray in the deepest recesses of my heart…I will, this year, become a mother, and make David a father.  It is the hope dearest to me, and the one thing I want above all in this next year.  He has promised that we will start trying around summer, and I can wait that long.  It’s not as if I don’t have enough going on to distract me until then, and it’s only six months off, after all!

I’m through waiting for my life to start.  I’m going out, I’m going to achieve what I set out to do.  It’s time to start making things happen.

I can’t wait to see what happens in 2011.

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In praise of the Kindle

Those of you who have Kindles, or any electronic readers, will know exactly to what I refer with this entry.  I have, for quite a long time, wanted an e-reader, and very much to my surprise, on Christmas Eve, I unwrapped one, a gift from my husband David and my parents all together.  It was the gift I wanted most for Christmas, and, as I’m sure you can imagine, it was very well-received, to the point where I was almost afraid to turn it on and start it up, so excited was I to receive it.

It did not disappoint me.  In the first evening, I downloaded one book (stupidly at full price) before I remembered Project Gutenberg, and realized that I had all the classics I could ever have wanted to read at my fingertips for virtually free.  I downloaded two, and the next day, five more. 

I can’t say enough in praise of the Kindle.  My own Kindle (who I named “Annabelle Lee” — with some spelling creativity — after the subject of my favorite poem by Edgar Allen Poe) is light and portable and easy to carry, though she is desperately in need of a protective cover and I carry her around in the box she came in, until I pick one out.  I have to say that I am most partial to this one, especially since it’s kitted out with the one thing I find the Kindle lacking in: a built-in book light for reading in the dark.  But my favorite feature has to be the “Text-To-Speech” function, which allows me to read, write, or even knit while listening to the book of my choice.  I can’t tell you how much this has changed my productivity.  It’s nearly impossible to knit while reading, since reading requires at least one hand, and knitting, at least two (though sometimes it seems like more!).  But this morning, I was able to “read” while knitting a mitten for a friend of mine, an activity that can’t  be done with a book in your hands.  I have a feeling this is going to change my life.

With a whole world of books and reading at my fingertips (and at my ears), I’ve discovered The Nest Book Club, and have set what I think is a reasonable but challenging goal for myself this year:

I don’t know if I can do it, but I’m certainly going to try.  I have quite the list on my Kindle of free books to read, along with three paper books that I received for Christmas from family members (and an entire bookshelf of already-read books to work my way through).  I’m determined.
The first book on my list?  One I should have begun years ago.  Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.

I began it two days ago, and so far, I’m enthralled.  I’ve developed a new love for Jane Austen, and plan to work my way through most of her work.  I only wish I’d “discovered” Jane ten years ago when I was a teenager going through the ins and outs of juvenile relationships, rather than as an “old married woman” (I laugh at this, seeing as I haven’t been married for even two months yet) in her late twenties.

Wish me luck, and happy reading!

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Hello

My blogging history has been spotty at best.  For the last six months, I’ve kept a WordPress blog, about my life with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).  But in the past few weeks, that’s been relatively dissatisfying, for several reasons.  I hate the idea of “labeling” myself, especially labeling myself with something attached to so much stigma.  To call myself merely “the girl with GAD” is to deny every other facet of myself.  And although I may be wrong in believing so, I do theorize that I am worth much more than the sum of my parts.

The idea of creating a blog for the activities I love most in life is much more agreeable to me.  I am not the sort of person who leads a remarkable life — in fact, my life up until this point has been rather unremarkable.  I was born in a small town in Connecticut, in the United States; I had a more or less traditional upbringing; I graduated from a girls’ high school shortly after the turn of the century and I spent four years at college out of state, achieving my bachelor’s degree in English in 2005.  I moved back to Connecticut three days later, to enroll in graduate studies in History, but was involved in a major car accident two days before I was supposed to begin classes, which set back my studies quite a bit, to the point where I have still not finished.

I spent two years trying to figure out who I was and what I was doing with my life, and that’s a time period I’d rather not discuss, for it was then that I started needing medication and counseling for my anxiety.  In 2008, at my sister’s request, I auditioned for a play, and was cast opposite a man named David.  We began dating two months after we met, and a year and a half later, he asked me to be his wife.  We were married on November 5, 2010 (Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night, if you are from England or familiar with English customs), and now we live in a very small apartment in Connecticut with our three black cats and guinea pig.

I have been reading since I can remember, probably around the age of five, like most children.  I can read very fast, although not as fast as my younger sister.  I suppose you could call me a “bookworm” as a child.  I still do love to read, but life and college and work and other pursuits have unfortunately relegated it, at times, to the back burner, and I find myself more often than not re-reading books, instead of going out and finding new ones.  The goal of this blog is to encourage myself to go out and read more, and review the books I do read.  My wonderful husband and parents pitched in and bought me a Kindle this year, my new favorite possession, and I have recently joined a book club on a website, so I am hoping that I manage to meet my goal of 100 books in 2011.

I began knitting when I was twenty years old, in college, and spent the next five years halfheartedly knitting away on garter-stitch scarves, until my boyfriend’s mother (now my mother-in-law) gave me a book on basic knitting.  That week, I taught myself to purl, stopped being frightened to try new things, and now churn out hats, scarves, baby blankets, socks (my personal favorite) and mittens on a regular basis.  I don’t knit often or well enough to create an entire knit-blog, but I do read them and aspire to the level their writers have achieved, so some of this blog will be reserved for knitting, and posts about it.

Finally: writing.  I wrote my first short story at age 8 (something terrible in my day-to-day journal for my third-grade teacher) and never looked back.  I write as naturally as I breathe, every single day.  But again, college does make writing difficult, if not odious, at times.  Getting back into writing that I enjoy is another goal of mine.

So that’s all.  Welcome to Read.  Knit.  Blog.  I hope you enjoy your stay.

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