Lonely Walls

As I type this post, I am sitting "criss cross applesauce" in the middle of my bed...just like I always am when I'm blogging. Sitting here like this, on the bed that I have had for years and years, has always been my thing. This spot is where I read. It's where I blog. It's where I write and talk on the phone and think about life. It's where I pray, and count my blessings. It's where I cry when I'm feeling down or overwhelmed. It's where I find comfort at the end of a long day.

For the past two years, my view from this spot has been filled with everything that makes me happy...everything that makes my room "mine." Tonight as I sit here though, I am surrounded by an unfamiliar setting. The walls that were covered in pictures and memories just a few hours ago are now blank and vast. The bookshelf that always sits to my left, full of hundreds of characters and stories, is now empty...its' books tucked neatly into boxes that are now stacked up on the same wall. My dresser and beside table now hold only the items that I will "need" for the next three weeks. Everything is different. It isn't my room anymore. It's just a space that used to be mine.

Moving day is in three weeks, and yesterday I went on my first major packing spree. I was so in the zone when I was taking things down and tucking them into cardboard boxes that I didn't really stop to think about what I was doing. I accomplished way more in one day than I had anticipated, and after stacking the boxes neatly against the wall I went downstairs to unwind. The fact that I had just massacred my sacred place didn't hit me until I walked back upstairs to go to bed. I stood in the doorway and looked at the lonely walls and the boxes and the clutter, and a brief streak of panic shot through me.

How is it that we get so attached to places and spaces and "things" that really aren't even that important at the end of the day? Maybe it's because they are the only constant things in our life. People come and go. Phases come and go. Experiences come and go. Mistakes are made. Promises are broken. But...home is always there. My room is always there to welcome me and comfort me when I'm ready to avoid all of the uncertainty that lies outside. It is always unchanging...and we all need something like that in this constantly changing world.

I guess I just have to accept the fact that my home is now as chaotic as so many other things that I encounter on a daily basis. Well...at least for the next three weeks anyway.


Cat Selfies and Other Things

A couple of weekends ago I was down in my hometown for my cousin Taylor's graduation, and I ended up being really sick for most of the weekend. Cough, fever, stuffy nose, sore throat...you know...all of that fun stuff. Because of being sick, I spent a large portion of my time posted up on the couch in a Benadryl-induced coma. Benadryl is serious stuff. If you're not sleeping while under its influence, you are most likely speaking in incoherent sentences or doing other strange things. In my case, one of those strange things was taking a few selfies with my mom's cat, Cruella. She has crawled up on the back of the couch behind me, and my brain told me that I obviously couldn't pass up the opportunity to take several a couple of dark, grainy pictures with her. I don't want you guys to question my sanity more than you already have, so I'm only going to share one of them. She was obviously super thrilled.

I know you're probably expecting me to take the cat selfie story and turn it into some sort of reflection on life, but that definitely isn't going to happen. I wouldn't even know where to begin a "the journey of life is like a series of selfies with your cat" type post. Even the most professional blogger probably wouldn't be able to pull that one out of their hat. I could always go off of the basis that Cruella the cat makes me happy, and a lot of things are making me happy lately. Yeah...we'll go with that thought process.

I'm almost finished with my training period of my new job. I can't believe I've been there for almost four weeks already. There is so much to learn every day, and the days fly by because I stay pretty darn busy. It's a pretty fast-paced environment, and I enjoy that. It makes me feel like I'm truly contributing to the good of the company. When I was in my old job, I had so many mornings where I couldn't even bring myself to get out of bed and get ready until the last minute because I dreaded going into the office so much. Now, going to work in the morning is something that I don't mind doing. Maybe some of that is because it's still so new, and I'm sure when the new wears off I will have days that I would rather sleep in. However, I know that I will never be in tears over the thought of going to work, and that in itself is a huge blessing.

Amber and I only have about one more month left in our current house. We are moving into a new apartment in mid-July. I'm not looking forward to moving, but at the same time I am. I am excited about the location of the new place, because it's away from FSU's campus and all of the students. It's also really close to my office, and I will probably be able to make it to work in about four minutes. The apartment itself is also really nice, and having a new space to make my own will be fun. On the other end of the spectrum though, I am not liking the thought of having to pack up everything and actually physically move. I'm settled in here, and it's always a little hard to leave somewhere that you're comfortable. However, I also know that we will be settled in the new place faster than we think.

There are a couple of other exciting things going on right now too, but they're too new to really mention anything about here. I'm excited about the potential though, and maybe one day soon I will actually be able to talk about them. You never know what direction life is going to go, so anything is possible! That is something I am certainly learning lately. I used to think it was a bad thing, but recently I'm noticing that uncertainty can be a pretty positive thing too. It all depends on how you look at your circumstances.

Happy Wednesday!


Beautiful Differences

Sherriah, one of my best friends since childhood, posted some old pictures on Facebook today. A couple of them are highly embarrassing, so I'm not going to include them here, but I do like this one. I believe it's from our Junior year of high school. It makes me smile because it's the epitome of what her and I have always been. Her, the edgy, carefree girl, and me, the straight-laced girl in an appropriately conservative sweater.

We have always been two very different women, with two very different personalities. Yet...we had and still have a fabulous friendship. I honestly can't remember ever having a fight with this girl in the almost 20 years that I have known her. Despite our differences, we never once used them against each other. She is married and lives in Ohio with her husband now, so I see her once a year or so if I'm lucky. We will both admit that we are super bad at keeping in touch with one another, so we don't even really talk except for that rare time that we see each other in person. The cool thing is though, when we are together, we can talk and laugh and joke just like we have never been apart.

"Opposites attract" is such a true statement, even in the world of friendship. I am fortunate to have several extremely close friends in my life, and not a single one of them are anywhere close to being the same kind of person I am. I think we often classify "differences" as a negative thing. I think everyone, at some point in their life, has been guilty of cutting someone out of their life because they just "aren't on the same page." I'm not saying that is always a bad thing, but I also feel like we can sometimes be too quick to become impatient, and too lazy to really take into account the opinions and feelings of those that we are close to. I have witnessed many friendships ruined because of this, and while some broken friendships are necessary, there are others that are definitely worth salvaging.

I'm not really sure how that old picture of Sherriah and I led me off on this tangent, but it did. I guess it just has me thinking about how much I love all of my friends...both the ones that I have grown up with and the ones that I have only known for a few years or even a few months. I am thankful for their uniqueness, and their differences. Despite opposite opinions, and maybe even a few fights, I am so happy that they are who they are. Because honestly, if they were exactly like me, my life would have been extremely boring up to this point.

Stay golden, my friends.


Then vs. Now

The first of this month marked six years since my high school graduation. I'm always a little shocked when this time of year rolls around, because it always seems to arrive faster and faster. On one hand, it completely seems like it has been six years since I reached life's first major rite of passage. (Besides getting a driver's license of course.) On the other hand, I still remember sitting in all of my high school classes like it was yesterday. Some days, I feel like I don't even remember my high school self. Other days, I feel like I haven't changed at all.

The truth is, there is A LOT of difference in the age of 18 and the age of 24. I think about my high school self often. You know how in A Christmas Carol the ghosts take Scrooge to examine his past, present, and future actions and in every scene he is kind of just standing around watching himself? That's how I feel when I think about 18-year-old me. In my imagination, I'm standing in the corner of my Senior English class, watching my younger self sitting in the corner, quietly taking notes. I watch myself observing everything around me, but saying nothing unless it's to one of my best friends sitting around me. When I think about that past version of myself, it seems both completely accurate to how I am now, yet also completely different.

That's why I have decided to make a list...a list of things that have changed or stayed the same from then to now. How much have I really changed over the past six years?

//Then, I was an introvert...and I was pretty ashamed of it. I thought that being an introvert was a sign of weakness, and I was scared to death of people. I was scared to branch out and try anything out of my comfort zone. Now, I am still an introvert, but I've realized that it is actually a positive aspect of myself. I may be kind of quiet, but I have learned how to talk to people and voice my opinion. I have learned that being observant is a great thing. I have learned that there is nothing wrong with knowing when to be quiet, opposed to when to stand up for what you believe in.

//Then, I had dreams for the future, but I believed they were unattainable. Now, I still have dreams, and I know that they will come true as long as I have the drive to work towards them.

//Then, I didn't love myself like I should. I was self-conscious to the point that I could hardly make eye contact with people that I wasn't completely comfortable around. I didn't understand that there is no "one" type of beauty. I just assumed that because I didn't look like the pretty girls in school, I wasn't pretty at all. Now, I am in the process of learning to love myself for "me." Instead of wishing for looks that I don't have, I am embracing what I was given. And it gets easier every day.

//Then, I was better at keeping up with eyebrow maintenance. Now, I get to when I can if and when I feel like it. Sorry...I'm not sorry about that.

//Then, I didn't appreciate the fact that I had so much free time to do simple things that I enjoy. Now, I know that the simple things in life are important, because the free time isn't always there to indulge in them.

//Then, I was sheltered from living in a teeny tiny town for my entire life. I didn't understand how many different people and places and things there are in the world, nor had I even taken much time to ponder the fact. Now, I haven't experienced as many places as I would like to, but I have been out on my own enough to know that there is so much to life. And it isn't all perfect, but it is diverse which still makes it beautiful.

//Then, I would have never had the courage to write all of my thoughts and post them publicly for anyone and everyone to read. Now, I believe it is not only important, but necessary to clear my head through creativity here on this little space. There are a lot of different ways to be brave.

How have you changed over the years?


45, and Getting Better Every Day

I'm an outcast in my family. In fact, I like to refer to June as "outcast month." I know this sounds negative, but it really isn't. Bear with me.

Why am I an outcast, you ask? Well...because I'm the only one who doesn't have a birthday in June. My mom, dad, and brother all have birthdays this month. And then there is me. But that's okay. It just makes me an original. ;)

Anyway, this post isn't supposed to be about me...it's about someone else who is way more amazing than I am. Today is my mom's 45th birthday! She may be 45, but she is just as beautiful as ever. In fact, I truly believe that she only gets better with age.

Happy Birthday, Mama! I hope 45 is your best year yet. May the upcoming 12 months be full of nothing but good things. You're the best. For real. I love you, and I wish I was there to celebrate with you! Now stop reading this and go kick back and made Daddy and Dakota bring you cake and do all of the household chores.


What I'm Watching Lately

I bet you thought I wasn't going to show today, huh? You were thinking, "Well, Miranda fell through on yet another promise of being back to blogging regularly." I know that's what was running through your mind...don't even try to hide it. Anyway, I may be late but I'm certainly here! With my new job, my blogging schedule is going to have to change. I won't be writing posts or reading/commenting on blogs until the evenings now. It will take some getting used to, but it will work!

I was thinking earlier today...I seem to watch more TV during the summer than I do during the rest of the year combined. Maybe it's because better shows come on during the summer, or most of the ones that I like just happen to be on around the same time. Who knows? I don't necessarily think it's either one of those reasons though, because I don't just watch brand new episodes of stuff...I watch a lot of re-runs too. Maybe the reason is because I don't get to go on any actual vacations, so books and movies become my way to escape for a little while at a time.

I figured it would be fun to share a list of some of the things I have been watching recently. These are also going to keep me entertained for the rest of the warmer months. Fun and sun is great, but sometimes it's nice to relax in front of the TV too. And there are much less UV rays involved.

Miranda's Giant List of Worthy TV Shows
1. So You Think You Can Dance
I'm watching this as I type. SYTYCD is perhaps my favorite show ever. The concepts of the routines are brilliant, and the choreography is so beautiful no matter what the style. The show does a perfect job of portraying the art of dance. If you like dance, or anything to do with the performing arts, you have to watch this show if you don't already.
2. The Middle
My addiction to this show came on QUICK. The only reason I watched the first episode I came across was because nothing else was catching my attention. And you know what? this show is hilarious! It's dysfunctional family humor at its' finest.

3. The Big Bang Theory
There is really no explanation for this one. It's just perfection all around. If it's on, I have to watch it. End of story.

4. Orange is the New Black
Netflix brings it back on Friday! I am so super excited. This is not the type of show that I would generally go for, but after several recommendations I watched the first episode and I was hooked. The storyline is brilliant, and it is the perfect mix of seriousness and humor. I'm dying to see what happens in season two!
What shows are on your "must watch" list?


Starting Over

It's no secret that my blogging has been pretty sporadic over the past couple of months. The truth is, I can't tell you how many times I have hit the "compose post" button, typed a few sentences, and deleted everything before closing out of Blogger. Why has that been happening? Because I feel like I have had nothing but negative things to say, and sometimes a person just gets tired of reading (or writing) negative things. As a result, I figured it best to just stay away for a while, and hope that my blog would still be intact when I was ready to post regularly again.

It isn't just my blog that has been suffering because of my bad attitude...it's pretty much everything in my life. I haven't been writing, I haven't been as careful with my money, I have been neglecting  my friends and family, I haven't been praying...I haven't even been reading. Most days after work, I would come home and lay in bed until I fell asleep, then drag myself up the next morning and do it all over again. Feeling stuck in my previous job, combined with other circumstances that will never be discussed publicly, were controlling me in the most negative way possible. I don't always handle my emotions well, and this portion of my life is proof of that.

So, I'm here today to say something...I'm done.

I am done feeling this way. I'm done putting everything I love in jeopardy just because I don't feel like I deserve to be happy. Because that is such a lie. People make mistakes, and no mistake, no matter how big, should have the power to make a person feel like they don't deserve happiness in the future. Therefore, I'm more than ready to accept happiness again.

I'm about two and a half weeks into training at my new job, and guess what? I absolutely love it. It is an amazing company, full of genuine employees, and I don't think I could feel any more at home. It's not the type of business I ever imagined I would work for, but I think that actually makes it even better. Sometimes you end up feeling the most comfortable in the most unexpected places. I still miss my old co-workers, but this job is so much better for my spirit, and I have no doubt that taking the chance and accepting the position was the right thing to do.

I know that everything else will begin to fall back into place too. My creativity is returning, and I'm ready to start writing/blogging again. I'm ready to put energy back into my friendships and relationships. I'm ready to make the most of each day, because life is too short, and I have too much faith to waste my days feeling sad. It's time to accept the bad without letting it control me. It's time to complete everything that I feel is incomplete. It's time to live in a way that makes me happy; not in a way that I feel like I have to in order to please others.

I'm ready to start over.

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