Thursday, September 20, 2018

My year, according to Negan.


This is Negan. 


Negan is a character on The Walking Dead, played by Jeffery Dean Morgan. He has filled the hole in my heart that Alan Rickman left, and is my not-so-new celebrity crush. 


I got to meet him and it was one of the best days ever. 
He plays the main character in today's post.

Negan is a bad guy in the show. He also swears a lot. So gifs featuring him will feature swear words. 

You have been warned (mother).

Now. 

For those of you who missed it, my year sucked. It started off on a bad note, and just got worse. I wrote a depressing blog post about it back in June or something, if you'd like to read it

And now I'm writing about it again. 

Why? 

I was actually going to post this version back in June, but my depression from the event was so bad that, to fully process my pain, I wrote the depressed post instead. 

TBH I'm glad I did because it helped me a lot. Thank you all so much for you love and support during that/this dark and awful time in my life! (And here's to more dark and difficult times to come!)

I'm also writing this because my non-morbid sense of humor is starting to revive, and I'm able to talk about this experience in a humorous way. 

Don't get me wrong; even during the darkest moments, I saw the humor in this situation. 

Like, what were the odds?

Anyway. 

Life has gotten better since then. So, this is a follow up post and a recap post to make you laugh with me about how terrible this event was. Kapeesh?

So without further ado:

My year, according to Negan. 

January 1st, 2018

Hilariously enough, New Years Day was the day I watched The Walking Dead (TWD) episode that first introduced Negan.

January was also the month that my ex (whom I had exchanged "I love you" with) started dating his new woman. This took place less than a month after we broke up.  

Oh, and he lived in the building across the street from me.

Also, when we broke up, I made him promise to give me a heads up before he started dating someone. 

I found out when my bestie saw him holding hands with that girl. 

And so 2018 was all like:


(Me. It was gonna beat the holy hell out of me.)

We had only just begun the nightmare that would unfold. 

February 2018

February is generally my least favorite month of the year. And this year it was just a small step worse than usual.

First of all, it was dark all the time. Then, I was in difficult classes I didn't particularly enjoy, and lastly, Valentine's Day takes place then, and it is my least favorite holiday by far.
(Speaking of which, if anyone has any suggestions on how to make this Valentine's Day a good day, let me know.)

I couldn't fully escape the heartbreak situation because my ex lived so close to me and I kept running into him / his woman.When I didn't run into him, I had constant anxiety about the possibility of running into him. 

My ex was unintentionally all like:


Oh, also, I started going on dates again. 

And they were horrible. 

And so awkward. 

And so 2018 was all like:


March 2018

I was finally starting to recover a little bit. Salt was beginning to wash out of the wound. 
That's when I found out that, come April, my ex's new woman would be my next door neighbor.

WHAT. ARE THE FREAKEN. CHANCES. 

And I turned to 2018 with tears in my eyes and a crazed smile on my face and yelled:


Spoiler: 2018 wasn't joking. And it had more in store for me.

April 2018

When I look back on April, I just kind of get this "blah" feeling. It was a total blur. To be honest, I don't remember specific details. But I know that, between this drama, finals week, moving apartments and job hunting, I didn't have much time to think.

Or time for happiness and self care, really.

I was just kind of like:


May 2018

My memory of May is kind of the same as April. I began to reclaim my happiness.

Aaaaaand then I was living next door to my ex's new woman . . . so that constant reminder made it difficult to remain happy and positive and move on.

I remember I was tired all the time.

I was just kind of like:



June 2018

This is when things got rough, and ended with a sign of hope.

After continuously running into them at my apartment complex (also, he kept parking  his car next to my car. Who does that? Does he not realize I could've easily keyed it, or slammed my door into his, or done what I actually wanted to do and put gummy bears on the hood of his car so that they'd melt? Don't worry. I didn't.), I found myself in the ER because of suicidal thoughts.

And the nurses name that helped me had the same name as my ex boyfriend. 

And 2018 peered over my hospital bed with a smile and said:


Yes, 2018. Yes, it does. 

Because a week after I went to the ER, my ex got engaged to his lady friend. 



AND THEY WERE GETTING MARRIED ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE DAY HIM AND I STARTED TO DATE BAHAHAHAHAHA. 



Again. 

WHAT ARE THE FREAKEN CHANCES?!

But here's what the best thing about June was (and this isn't sarcastic. This lead up could make it seem like I'm gonna say something sarcastic): 

I went to Africa at the end of the month!!


July 2018

July was amazing. I was in Rwanda and Uganda learning about the Rwandan genocide, peace building and conflict resolution. I saw animals I had wanted to see since I was little, I got to hear speakers who experienced the genocide themselves, I met amazing people and made wonderful friends who changed my life. I was in Africa! 

It was just an extremely good, soul healing time for me. I can't express how happy I am that I had the opportunity to go. It. Was. Amazing. 

It was just what my soul needed. 

For the first time since probably December 2017, I was actually happy. 




August 2018

This was when my ex got married. 

So I ran away to Disneyland with my friend that weekend. 

Top 10 best decisions of my life, right there. 

Sadness still lingered, but it wasn't so much about my ex anymore. I was sad about other things, and weirdly enough . . . that made me happy. 

I felt more in control of my happiness and my life. 

There were / are still hard times, and they were mixed with hope that wasn't there before. 


September 2018

Here I am now. 

I still have moments of sadness, jealous and depression. To be honest, I'm not where I thought I'd be in life at this time. The biggest disappointment I'm experiencing is that I'm not living in D.C. or NYC like I had been planning on since 2016.

Instead, I'm in Utah still. 

The east coast didn't work out. As hard as I tried to make it work out, the universe had other plans.

My heart is still sad about it. I'm hoping I'll still be able to get back there very soon, but we'll see.

I'm not where I want to be, and it's where I am. 

And it doesn't mean my life isn't good or fulfilling. 

I have a new job at an honest company while being surrounded by good people. 

I have my own apartment. 

I have the dog of my dreams. 

I'm content. 

And after the start of this year, I'm more than happy with that. 

And 2018? Well, it's looking at me with a smile and saying:


I do have to thank my ex, though. 

Because he's the one who got me hooked on TWD. 

And without him, I never would have met my true love: 

Negan. 





Saturday, June 16, 2018

Here's to hope -- Why 2018 has sucked

If this post were to be made into a book, here's what you would read on the back cover:

I didn't expect to get a boyfriend my last year of undergrad.

And when I did, I didn't expect to fall in love.

And when we fell in love, I didn't expect us to break up.

And when we broke up, I didn't expect him to start dating someone else less than a month later.

And when he started dating someone else less than a month later, I didn't expect her to move in downstairs from me.

And when she moved in downstairs from me, I didn't expect them to get engaged.

And when they got engaged, I didn't expect them to get married on the anniversary of the day we began dating.

That's a sum up of the story. You can stop here if you'd like, or you can continue and read on and get more juicy details.

So without further ado, here is the story of why 2018 has been my own, personal hell.

I didn't expect to get a boyfriend my senior year of college. 

And I was thrilled when it happened.
It only took 24 years to get my first kiss.
It only took 24 years to finally start dating someone seriously; something I remember looking forward to as early as age 5.
So I treasured every minute of it.

And when I did, I didn't expect to fall in love. 

I feel stupid now that I did.
And if I knew what was coming, I wouldn't have let myself.
#HindsightIs2020
We had casual discussions about getting married.
And I got my hopes up and believed it would happen.
Like the stupid fool I am.
And if I knew what was going to happen, I wouldn't have even put it on the table.
#HindsightIs2020

And when we fell in love, I didn't expect us to break up. 

We ended on good terms.
It was mutual. We knew that marriage wasn't right for us.
I still respected him.
I still do.
I felt good about it . . . at the moment.
And then loneliness and discouragement began to settle in.

And when we broke up, I didn't expect him to start dating someone else less than a month later. 

And then loneliness must've began to settle in for him.
Because the next thing I knew, my roommate saw him holding hands with another girl.
And my heart broke once again.
I felt betrayed.
If he had truly loved me, why would he move on so quickly?
Depression settled in.
It was a depression I had never experienced before.
It was more intense than it had ever been.
Was this heartbreak?
My thoughts became anxious.
I became self critical.
I'm unlovable.
I'm not loved.
I'm not unique.
I'm worthless.
I'm unwanted.
Nobody needs me.
I'm replaceable.
I'm replaceable.
I'm replaceable.
Nobody needs me.
I'm unwanted.
I'm not unique.
I'm not loved.
I'm unlovable.
Over.
And over.
And over.
Again.
And again.
And again.

And when he started dating someone else less than a month later, I didn't expect her to move in downstairs from me.

And when she did, I met her.
She seemed nice.
And my sadness lingered.
I'm replaceable.
Nobody needs me.
I'm unwanted.
I'm not unique.
I'm not loved.
I'm unlovable.
I began to see both of them more.
Not just in person, but on social media.
I did everything I could to get these thoughts out of my head.
Therapy, blocking both of them on social media to remove the temptation to look them up, praying, fasting, medication, talking to friends, etc. etc. etc.
But then I'd see them again, and the thoughts would start again.
I was in so, so much pain and mental anguish.
Life didn't seem worth living anymore.
I had nothing to live for.
And I was replaceable, after all.
And so I checked myself into the E.R.

And when she moved in downstairs from me, I didn't expect them to get engaged.

He contacted my best friend, asking her if he should tell her himself.
She contacted my other best friend, asking what to say.
She contacted my sister, asking if they should tell me.
I had gone to the E.R. just a week earlier.
I was feeling better.
I was feeling happy.
But happiness, as I've learned, is an incredibly fragile thing.
Especially in the hands of a heartbroken girl plagued with depression and anxiety.
My sister called and told me.
My best friends called and checked in on me.
They told me 20 minutes before my therapy session.
I broke down in tears, and didn't stop crying until an hour and a half later, when I left therapy.
I felt grateful.
I was blessed with people who cared for me.
Multiple friends checked in on me.
Maybe I was loved.
Maybe I was lovable.
And maybe I was needed.
And even though I still have zero idea what my future holds, maybe it's worth living to find out.

And when they got engaged, I didn't expect them to get married on the anniversary of the day we began dating. 

I asked my best friend to find out when they were getting married.
She did, and she told me.
And by this point, I just had to laugh.
He never remembered our anniversary anyway, so I know this wasn't intentional.
But I definitely still had to laugh.
Because the universe is just having fun with this sick, twisted prank it's pulling on me.
You can stop now, universe.
And every time I think "okay, this is the worse it will get. It can't get any worse."
Something like this happens.
So I'm excited to see what the next story to this chapter will be.
Because I wouldn't have imagined any of this happening.
I literally could not make any of this up.
And yet, here I am.
Living across the hall from my ex boyfriends fiance who he started dating less than a month after we broke up while they plan on getting married on the anniversary of the day he and I began to date.
My life is the plot of a bad rom com.
And, to be honest, I've given up on it getting any better.

Here's to hope.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mary the bus driver

Let me tell me tell you guys the story of my bus driver named Mary.

I lived within a 15 minute walking distance to my elementary and middle school so I never took the bus, except for 6th grade. I transferred to a high-class charter school with school uniforms and fancy things like that. So, I took the bus because it was farther away.

My best friend Katelyn and I got on and off at the same stop so we always rode the bus together. Our morning bus driver was SO COOL. He'd speed over speed bumps purposely so we could jump when he went over them and we'd go flying and stuff.

Related image

It was so cool and so much fun and definitely dangerous and probably illegal! I loved it!


And then there was Mary.

(Sounds like the title to a horror film: "And then there was Mary." by Alfred Hitchcock.)

Mary was our afternoon bus driver.

And she was a nightmare.

Mary had all sorts of ridiculous rules. First of all, she wouldn't let us roll down the windows . . . IN A HOT BUS. IT WAS LIKE AN OVEN IN THERE. Not to mention we probably all smelt horrible cause we were little kids or pubescent teenagers.

But nope. She didn't allow it. One cracked open window would lead to a long lecture.

Image result for umbridge rules wall gif

So one day, Katelyn, my friend Melissa and I became rebels (or, if we're going with Harry Potter metaphors, we became Dumbledore's Army). We got so hot we rolled down the windows.


And immediately the rooster crowed.

"ROLL YOUR WINDOWS BACK UP." she screamed in those microphone things each bus driver has.

"We can't understand you!" yelled Katelyn.

*insert giggling from the three of us here*

So then we took it a step further. We started waving to people and yelling hi.

Well that just made that lil bird even more angry.

Image result for the birds gif

"YOU PUT THAT WINDOW UP RIGHT NOW AND STOP."

 And we ignored her.

(I'd like to think this was the beginning of the days when I started treating "superiors" as equals. It's a major gift and curse I have. Like when you're in a swimming class and your teacher makes you swim an extra lap and you just look at him and say, "I. Hate. You." Then it's a curse.)

Then we took it a step FURTHER.

We stuck our heads and arms out the window. We raised our voices louder like little warriors as we yelled, "Hi!" to people. We waved our arms and tiny hands with pride, as if we were raising swords to battle. We would not be stopped over the battle of the window.

Even after Melissa (or Katelyn? One of them) got her head hit by a tree branch, that didn't stop us.

Image result for getting hit by branch fail gif

We were invincible little 11-year-old's.

(Looking back now, I bet Mary purposely drove close to that tree to teach us a lesson. What a devil.)

We grabbed leaves from trees and threw them. We yelled hello and cars and people. And through all this, Mary was LIVID.

She kept screaming over the microphone for us to stop, but it was turned up so loud, the microphone kept cutting off, and her voice was so screechy that all it sound like was, "BGALKSDHASLKDFH."

And so we continued. And nothing happened except a verbal warning. 

And we knew we had won this battle.

Image result for victory gif

Now we repeated this process this the next day, except nobody got hit by a tree branch. We rolled down the windows and stuck our heads and hands out to tell the world we were there.

Well, Mary wasn't gonna put up with our crap again.

Image result for umbridge rules wall gif

She sent the suck-up student who sat in the front and tattled on EVERYONE to go get our names.

"Hey, I need your guys' names," she said seriously.

".....Katelyn...." said Katelyn.

"..........Cami........" I said, being sure not to use my full name so I could get away with the crime, but also use a nickname that only my family called me so I could say I wasn't technically lying.

Image result for oh sneaky gif

Well Melissa's head was still out the window, so we nudged her.

"What's your name?" asked the suck up again.

"Melissa Prater," she said, and went back to waving at people.

We pulled Melissa back in and pointed to the suck up as she went back to Mary and reported our names.

"WHY DID I TELL HER MY FULL NAME?!" said Melissa.

Now, see, nothing ever came from that, which I don't know why. But Mary DID start to be a LITTLE lenient on the window rule (not sticking our heads out of it - just rolling them down).

What she wasn't chill with? Talking loudly, screaming, standing, turning around, smelly lotions, food, garbage, or kids not having there parents there to pick them up.

Whenever there was a scrap of garbage on the ground, she'd yell at us to pick it up and it was ALWAYS accompanied by, "I'M NOT YOUR MOTHER AND I'M NOT YOUR MAID."

She was so bad, that Katelyn and I began keeping down a list of of her ridiculous rules rude things she said on a sticky note that I hid in my backpack. I was planning on talking to the administration about her, and never did.

But I'm proud of little sixth grade Camilla for trying to seek justice since age 11.

Image result for you go glen coco gif

So here are three short blips about Mary:

Image result for number one gif

We were sitting there, enjoying life as most 6 graders do when-

"WHO PUT LOTION ON?!"

Immediate silence.

Maybe some did it out of fear. But not Katelyn, Melissa and I. We didn't really respect her either. No, we just were quiet cause we knew that this was the fastest way to get her to move on.

"WHO PUT IT ON? WHO PUT IT ON?! WHO PUT IT ON!?" the crow screeched.

Image result for the birds gif

By now she had pulled over and said, "I COULD SIT HERE ALL DAY. I GOT MY JAMBA JUICE, I GOT MY MAGAZINE, I COULD SIT HERE ALL DAY UNTIL ONE OF YOU CONFESSES."

......"I put on hand sanitizer?" peeped up this lil girl in the front.

"....Not lotion?" Mary asked.

"No."

"Oh. WELL GET SOME THAT DOESN'T SMELL."

And she took off driving.

Image result for number two gif

Next story:

We get to the bus stop right before mine when this kid says, "My mom isn't home."

So, naturally, Mary had some charity FOR ONCE and was like, "Oh honey that's not good - I'll circle the block a bunch of times until your mom gets home!"

Well I turn to Katelyn and we're both like UH UH. NO, NO. NOPE.

So I said just that, only in a polite way.

I wish I could say I was speaking up to Mary because of bravery, but it was totally motivated out of anxiety of the possibility of being stuck on this bus for who knows how long, knowing that it would send our parents into anxiety over not knowing where we were.

"I'll just get off here!" I yelled.

"Yeah, me too!" yelled Katelyn.

"Why?" said Mary.

"We're the next stop. We don't mind walking." I said.

"Yeah, we're totally fine." said Katelyn.

"I don't mind walking," I said.

"It's not that far." Katelyn replied.

"Oh no, if you're just the next stop, I'll drop you girls off then circle around to this stop again."

So she dropped us off.

Our parents were waiting and when we told them what happened, they were both like, "Wow that's ridiculous."

The next day, our moms were at the bus stop in the morning. Katelyn's mom says to my mom, "You'll never believe what happened."

Turns out, Katelyn's mom had called another parent whose kid rides the same bus as us and found out that Mary circled the neighborhood for TWO HOURS waiting for the kid's mom to get home. TWO HOURS.

And then?

"Turns out she was home the entire time!" Katelyn's mom said. "Don't know what the kid was thinking. Anyway, a bunch of other kids didn't get home until five thirty or six."

So the ONE TIME Mary is nice, it completely back fires.

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Aaaand last story:

We're driving, as is common on a school bus.

Katelyn is helping me figure out how to open  my window that got jammed halfway down.

Suddenly, we hear the blood curling scream from within the bus.

Immediately, Katelyn and I sit our butts down RIGHT as Mary SLAMS on the break....

IN THE MIDDLE OF TRAFFIC!

THE MIDDLE. OF TRAFFIC.

I don't know how familiar you guys are with the Draper/Sandy area, but this was on 123rd south. It is a BUSY street. Actually, let me just show you a google maps picture of that intersection, because I remember the EXACT location:



.....Okay that doesn't do it justice. But there's three lanes, okay? And it was busy. And she just STOPS.

So after she slams on the breaks, she dramatically puts the car into park and screams (probably as loud as the kid who screamed in the first place) into the dumb microphone thing she has, "WHO SCREAMED?! WHO SCREAMED?!"

Naturally and understandably so, no one confesses. I mean, I wouldn't want to confess to that.

 "I CAN DO THIS ALL DAY!" she screamed.

Image result for I could do this all day gif potc

You ain't no super hero, Mary.

Katelyn turns to me and says in a mocking tone, "I've got my Jamba Juice and my magazine..."

"I'VE GOT MY JAMBA JUICE AND MY MAGAZINE," Mary crows.

Katelyn and I immediately burst out laughing.

"WHO'S LAUGHING?!"

Katelyn and I raised our hands.

"DID YOU SCREAM?!"

"No!" Katelyn and I both said in unison.

By now, cars are honking and honking at us and moving around the bus.

"SO WHO DID?! WHO SCREAMED?! I CAN SIT HERE ALL DAY! I GOT MY JAMBA JUICE AND MY MAGAZINE!" she repeated.

I remember vividly imagining Mary actually sitting in the middle of this intersection all day. As car horns continued to be blared as they whizzed past us, I came to the conclusion that the cops would be involved and lil ol' Mary would eventually have to move.

I think a part of me wished that would happen, because maybe she'd stop doing this.

Then, from the front of the bus, "It was me."

I remember a tiny first grader who peeped up. This girl drove me insane. One time, on the morning bus, I found a penny on the bus floor and she yelled at me and cried claiming it was her lucky penny. I knew that was crap, so I refused to give it up. She tattled to the nice bus driver, and since he was the nice bus driver, he said he was sorry and he was sure she'd find another lucky penny.

Wonder what I did with that penny . . .

Anyway. Mary's response to this was extremely anticlimactic with all the fuss she put up for it:

 "OKAY. DON'T DO IT AGAIN," she screamed.

She put the bus back into drive, put her magazine down, and took off driving.

Perhaps she realized she couldn't discipline while she was blocking traffic. Who knows. But honestly, having Mary yell at you is punishment enough. 

And THAT is the story of my dear friend Mary.

I just wonder what happened to her. Is she a mother? Is she a maid? Is she still terrorizing school children on buses, or has she moved onto public transportation and is terrorizing on city buses? Who knows.

That was the only year I ever road the bus. I'm grateful for that experience. I feel like you haven't experienced school in the U.S. until you have to take a school bus. What a . . . socially awkward experience that was.

And I'm glad it happened.

Go terrorize a bus driver today!

Happy awkwardness. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Middle School Science Class

Ah, middle school: the bane of everyone's existence. Filled with pimples, bad mustaches, armpit hair, bad haircuts, growth spurts so your pants never fit and kids discovering that B.O. is a real thing (but are in denial that they have it).

I have this one moment from middle school that I try to repress, but it creeps up ALL the time - especially when I'm wearing the same outfit as somebody else.



Why?

Because one day I matched outfits with Peter the Pervert.

Ah yes. That's another thing middle school is full of: degrading nicknames that are hilarious but you know you shouldn't laugh at them.

(Disclaimer: I changed Peter's name. I don't think anybody deserves to know the names people gave them in middle school.)

If you're wondering why Peter was dubbed "the pervert," it's because he said . . . things . . . that made people feel uncomfortable. Like one time (when I had the privilege of sitting in front of him in English class) he and this kid got in an argument over this stray pencil and whose it was and then, out of nowhere, he said, "You wanna whip out penises' and measure our size to see who the real man is?"
And I remember a clear, audible, "Aaaaaaagh, seriously Peter?!" coming from the surrounding students (myself included).

I had a class with Peter every year, and eighth grade I was blessed to have three classes with him. So I heard many of his perverted comments (mostly about his penis).
And that's how he received that nickname.

So anyway, I was blessed to sit next to Peter the Pervert every day for three years. I DON'T KNOW WHY BECAUSE OUR LAST NAMES WEREN'T EVEN CLOSE IN THE ALPHABET SO IT MUST'VE BEEN A JOKE FROM GOD.

Image result for frustrated gif

(Caps lock to emphasis irony.)

Anyway, 8th grade was particularly a horrible year for me. I had a haircut I hated, pimples right between my eyes that people felt the need to point out (because you know. I wasn't already painfully aware of them), clothes that girls made fun of me for wearing, clothes that didn't match and last but not least I didn't realize I needed to shave my armpits until I raised my hand to answer a question and saw hair growing there that was WAY too long.

Put Your Hand Down GIF - DenzelWashington Put Your GIFs

Anyway. My favorite outfit was the following: a brown polo shirt from Old Navy with a small pink deer logo to the side of the buttons, and a small, pink stripe lining the collar. I usually accompanied this was some sort of jeans that were baggy around my butt (for some reason I have a curse of ALL jeans sagging around my butt. No matter how tight they may be around the other parts of my legs, the butt is always baggy #whitegirlproblems).

I sat down at the long, brown desk that seated three people. I sat on the end, Peter the Pervert sat in the middle between me and one of the popular guys.

Peter the Pervert took off his coat and jacket, sat down . . . and that's when I saw he was wearing the exact same shirt as me. THE EXACT SAME SHIRT. Small, pink dear and small, pink stripe around the collar and everything.

Image result for frustrated gif

What a cruel thing it is to merely exist in middle school.

I almost cried. But instead I slipped my jacket on, left it on the rest of the day and vowed to never wear it again. Which I didn't. I did NOT want to risk matching Peter the Pervert again. That would be social suicide to the social life I already didn't have.

So the other day I ran into my cousin and we were matching outfits. Naturally I laughed, and thought about this story. As I did so, I was reminded of other painful and hilarious moments I experienced in middle school and I realized . . . they all took place in science class.

So that was in eighth grade. Let's take a moment to talk about seventh grade.

I really liked my science teacher this year, and I was confident with my hair and clothes and didn't have to worry about armpit hair yet so my life was pretty good.

My teacher was from Wisconsin and had a thick Midwest accent. I thought I had a step ahead of the other students because my relatives are from Wisconsin and share the same accent. So I'd totally be able to interpret him, right?

Eh. Sorta. But mostly no.

One particular instance I remember is when we were talking about "solid, liquid, and gas." Because of his accent, our teacher pronounced it "salad" instead of "solid."

Well any dummy could figure out that by saying "salad, liquid, and gas," he really means SOLID, liquid, and gas. It's really not hard to figure out.

But we're in middle school.  And possibly the most powerful (and possibly only powerful) tool middle schoolers have is, their self consciousness is so powerful, they can make themselves feel better by somehow KNOWING everyone's biggest insecurity and bringing them down by pointing it out. Nobody is immune to this power. Not even me (I still get squeamish and self conscious whenever I walk into a middle school). Not even adults. Not even leaders. Not even my science teacher.

Naturally the whole class started giggling at his pronunciation of 'solid.' Some said they didn't know what he meant. I don't believe them but, whatever; the stupidity of humans continues to impress me every day.

He seem confused. I don't remember if someone pointed out what he was doing, but I do remember him having to pause and put great focus on saying, "Saw-led. Saw-led."

Back to eighth grade.

This was humiliating.

We were playing a game in class. It involved throwing an eraser into a trash can like a basketball.

Now here's a hidden talent I have: I am VERY good at shooting baskets. Any other part of playing basketball I'm mediocre at best, but shooting baskets? BAM. I rock.

In seventh grade gym class, my team would have me hover near the basket at all times. Then they'd toss it to me and I'd shoot and make a basket.

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I'm basically an amateur Michael Jordan.

Anyway. We're playing this game.

As I said above, we had to shoot an eraser into a trash can like a basketball.

I hadn't missed a shot yet.

And then the two teams were tied.

The final point came to me.

People were yelling, "DON'T MISS!" and "DON'T SCREW THIS UP!"

Thanks for your confidence in me, guys.

I tossed it.

And missed it.

The bell rang to leave class.

Our team had lost.

They lost because of me.

I burst out in tears.

And ran.

Image result for parks and rec crying and running away gif

To this day, I still cringe at that moment.

(Good news guys. I've smiled a lot since then.)

Now I saved a happy memory for last.

Ninth grade.

At basically any other school, ninth grade was in high school. But in my area, ninth grade was technically high school, but we just had all our classes in a school labeled "middle school" with all the seventh and eighth graders. I actually enjoyed this year. I liked my haircut and clothes, cared less about what people thought, and had a good group of friends that I loved.

Our middle school had a recycle system where ninth graders would sign up and volunteer to go collect recycling from all the classrooms in one giant box then, well, throw it in the giant recycling bin outside.

One day, my two best friends signed up for recycling at the same time. I, however, couldn't sign up at that time because there weren't any more openings then.

"It's okay," they said. "You have science then, right?"

"Ugh. Yes. With Mrs. Glass. She's the worst."

"Cool, we'll come get you out of class then," they said.

I had the greatest friends ever.

Let's take a moment to talk about Mrs. Glass. She was one of the worst teachers I've had, simply because she didn't teach. I remember a few times she tried, but she was distracted very easily, which we took great advantage of.

Picture an old, heavy, grouchy lady with thinning hair pulled up in a pony tail that sat on the top of her head, glasses that had been out of style since the 80's, while wearing a white polo shirt with white pants and pink underwear.

Yes. She wore white pants and pink underwear once. My table discovered this after she did that thing all teachers seem to do - talk to the kid next to you by bending over so you get their butt right in your face.

Image result for teachers butt in face

Hello, white pants and pink underwear.

Now, picture this woman going to the whiteboard and writing "Mrs. Glass" on the board, only to have a student erase the G and the L every time. Every. Time.

Now picture her turning around and starting to teach when a student raises their hand and says, "Tell us about your butterfly collection!"

50 minutes later, the bell rings and the only thing we have learned is an extensive overview of Mrs. Glass' butterfly collection.

Repeat this process the next day. Mrs. Glass writes name on board. Student erases the G and the L. She turns around to teach and -

"Mrs. Glass! Tell us about your bug collection!"

50 minutes later, I'm heading to my next class with a great knowledge of the other bugs that Mrs. Glass collected and which ones are her favorites.

Fun fact: I no longer remember what her favorite bugs were.

Repeat this process again. Mrs. Glass. G and L erased by student (why didn't she stop this? Why did she keep writing her name on the board?!), and then a student yells before she can get started on her lecture:

"Mrs. Glass! Tell us about how dinosaurs aren't real and they're just a government conspiracy!"

She got really heated with this topic. And it confused me because I thought, generally, scientists believed in dinosaurs? Well, clearly I'm wrong, because Mrs. Glass didn't.

So you could see why I wasn't too torn up about my friends getting me out of class that day.

The day came, and my friends walked in. I don't know what we were doing in class, but I do  know that I was listening to my iPod (I miss those being a thing), and reading the sixth Harry Potter book.

This particular day, Mrs. Glass was wearing a headset so that she wouldn't have to yell for us to hear her. Unfortunately, she was so in the habit of yelling she kept doing it even after the headset was on. And she'd always turn it up all the way. I saw multiple staff members come into her classroom and tell her to turn it down because they could hear her.

I also was a secretary for the main desk that year, and got to witness one occasion where a teacher walked through the main room and say, "Mrs. Glass' headset is up all the way again." before going into the principals office and closing the door behind her.

(I also saw a few students get arrested! Whaaat!)

To be frank, I'm not sure she ever turned it down. Ever.

She probably thought they were part of a conspiracy. Ha ha . . . . ha ha . . .

Anyway, I'm sitting there having my own bit of fun, when I hear her yell through the microphone so loud that it's especially exaggerated:

"CARMEN!!"

Image result for startled gif

I turned and saw my two friends standing uncomfortably by Mrs. Glass, holding a small recycling bin.

"RECYCLING!" she screamed again.

I nodded, closed my book, and scampered away with my friends.

When we got out to the hallway, they explained that they had to repeat "We're getting Carmen for recycling" three times before she understood them, and that her yelling had startled them as much as it did me.

We started making our rounds for recycling, and it soon became clear that - because recycling had also been done yesterday - there wasn't anything to be collected for today.

We still had 20 minutes left of recycling time, so we were rebellious and headed to our favorite teacher's office - Ms. Laymock. She had lunch the same time as my two friends did, so her classroom was empty.

"You girls doing recycling?" she asked us as we we walked into her classroom and took a seat.

"We were, but there's no recycling to do," my friend said.

"Are you kids missing class?" she said.

"We have lunch," my two friends said, and a guilty smile spread across my face.

"Carmen!" she scolded me.

"Come on, it's Mrs. Glass' class," I moaned.

"Oh. Well. You can stay then," she said, turning back to her computer. "You'll learn more about osmosis from just sitting in my classroom than you would in hers."

And we all definitely burst out laughing.

I'm still in touch with Ms. Laymock, and when it was teachers appreciation week(? Day? Month?) I texted her a thank you and specifically about this experience.

First of all, her response was, "I actually said that?!"

She then told me that Mrs. Glass had always terrified her. I don't know why this surprised me so much - I keep forgetting that teachers are human and sometimes they don't like the same teachers students don't like. Weird.

Anyway, I hope that you can tell from these stories that I love not being in middle school anymore - particularly eighth grade. I now know how to do makeup and hair (for the most part), am confident in myself, and am through puberty. What a relief.

But I do miss having lockers.
Except the only thing I used mine for was to store a jacket for when I got cold and forgot to pack one.
But still. I miss it.

K guys. Please take this time to message me on social media or comment below on your horrible middle school experiences. Everyone's had them, and I want to hear yours!

Okay my friends. Go thank a teacher and your parents for putting up with you during your crappy middle school years. And enjoy your day. Embrace awkwardness.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Carmen and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad first day of school

I have horrendous luck with first and last days of school. Even counting back to the eighth and tenth grade, I remember being incredibly self conscious of my bad haircut, uncomfortably tight shirt that showed off my lack of boobs, and getting lost in school.

A year and a half ago was my first semester at BYU in which I spilled my yogurt, books, water bottle, and other various objects multiple times, got a parking ticket, and sweat off all my makeup.

And this semester was no different. And I was still a surprised by the events that took place.

I didn't sleep well that night, which is normal for me on the night before the first day of school. This time, however, I wasn't anxious or nervous at all. I was actually pretty optimistic, so it was weird to me that I couldn't sleep.

I fell asleep at 11:45 and woke up at 4:25. By the time 6:30 rolled around, I got up and ate breakfast. At 7, I fell back asleep and woke up to my alarm at 8:45.
And pressed snooze.
And pressed snooze.
And pressed snooze.

At 9:15 (15 minutes before I had to leave. On a day I don't wear makeup it takes me 20 minutes to get everything ready and organized), I finally got up and threw my outfit on.

"Ugh, I don't feel well," I said to my roommates as all of us scrambled to get ready for school.

I was moving sluggish and tripped at least twice over my own feet while holding my backpack.

"I'm sorry! You gonna make it to class?" one of my roommates asked.

"Oh yeah, definitely," I said as I opened up the cupboards to throw together my lunch and gagged at the general sight of food.

My two roommates left and I continued to get ready in a stumbling and uncoordinated matter.

I was out the door with enough time to get there before class if I sped walk.

And my stomach hurt the whole way. It felt like there was a bunch of tiny knives and throwing stars in between each of my ribs and my abdomen. It dawned on me that it was probably just gas, and I grumbled to myself that I hadn't thought of that before I left my apartment and so now I didn't have the medication to take care of it faster. And now I'd just have to suffer the whole day until it worked itself through.

As I grumbled up the hill and to my building, my body began to heat up quickly and I began to sweat excessively.

Well at least I didn't put on makeup just to sweat it off like last year.

I got to class to see that it was one of my least favorite classroom set ups; rows of chairs. These rows gave you about as much leg room as an airplane does, except you don't have an empty space to put your backpack under so you just have to straddle it with your legs.



The best part of this situation?

Everyone had taken the end seats, which meant the only empty seats were the one in the center. This meant that I'd have to crawl over people to even get to an empty chair.

"Are you kidding me?" I said loudly. "Ugh, I hate this classroom."

I was obviously off to an optimistic start.

I shuffled past three guys without bending my knees to do so (cause I literally couldn't) and plopped down in my chair, still shaking, sweating, and feeling really hot. I began organizing my things as best I could, when a little fella sat next to me.

"Hi, I'm Spencer," he said while sticking out a hand.

And my jaw almost dropped.

No. Wedding. Ring.

You have to understand - this is a rarity for my political science classes. The vast majority of male students are married and I've given up ever meeting a husband in my journalism classes because they're all females.

So the fact that this guy is single and he chose to sit by me and then introduced himself to me?

Was the apocalypse happening?! Did Jesus come?! Surly, this was a sign of the second coming of Christ!

Nope, it was just a miracle.



I shook his hand, smiled, tried not to think about the fact that my stomach was churning and full of knives, or the fact that I wasn't wearing any makeup and said, "Nice to meet you. I'm Carmen."

"Carmen?"

"Yup."

"Nice to meet you too."

Class started, and everyone quieted down.

And I wasn't focusing at all on the lecture. I was focusing on finding a position I could sit in that wasn't completely painful for my stomach.

. . . and 15 minutes later I stood up to run to the bathroom.

But of course I had to squeeze past three guys to get there, one of which was asleep.

Alright at least I'm not the only one having a rough first day of school

At first I tapped him gently gently on the arm and said, "Excuse me I need to get out."

A single second passed. It was just a one simple second, but it felt like an eternity to my body. He did nothing.



I grabbed his leg and shook it aggressively while saying, "EXCUSE ME. I. NEED. TO. GET. OUT." In a sort of whisper-yell.

                                 

He woke up, and sluggishly began to pull his backpack onto his lap and squeeze into his chair as much as he could so I could slide by.

In all reality, I think he did so pretty quickly. And to my stomach? Well he might as well just have taken an eternity.

I shoved past him and the other kid sitting in the isle, tried to gracefully speed walk to the door as I sweat profusely, then took off running in the hallway to the bathroom.


Where I promptly threw up.



After about 10 minutes of laying on the ground, toilet seat, and dodging water when the automatic toilet decided it needed to flush, I stood up and walked to the sink to wash my hands and splash my face with water.

And I was horrified by the sight I saw: pale, sheet white skin. I had loss of what little pigment I had in my skin. To top this off, my eyes had puffy, bulging, red bags under my eyes and a single tear was leaking from each eye.

I looked horrifying.

After washing my face and hands all while avoiding the mirror, I headed back to class.

Once again squeezing past multiple people, I plopped down in the class where Spencer said something to me. I gave a hearty chuckle and tried to say something clever in return, and then was incredibly self conscious of the smell of my breath. I couldn't smell it, and I knew it had to be bad.

Wanting to avoid talking to this fella to save myself from embarrassment and him from . . . well the potentially awful smell of my breath, I decided the best way to end conversation would be to sit in fetal position on and off for the remainder of the class.


. . . it totally didn't have anything to do with my physical state.

Totally.

When the bell rang, I sat there pathetically having to wait for people to leave the isle before I could get through, and not wanting to move anyway in fear that I would puke again.

Spencer left without a word, and then I sped walked home



where I proceeded to throw up once an hour until the late afternoon.


I was able to return to school and work two days later, though the sight of food still made me nauseated.

Now here's the thing. Remember how I said most first days of schools are bad? Well the first day of fall semester wasn't so bad.

The last day though?

Disaster. Struck.

And don't worry. That's next weeks story.





Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Carmen and the case of the weird PDA

I, like most people, have pet peeves. Some of which are:
-Leaving wet towels/ washcloths in a heap (I have this secret paranoia that it'll start molding. Either way it WILL start smelling)
-People talking to me when I'm writing
-People leaving the lights on when they leave the apartment (who are you leaving them on for? Or are you just doing charity work for the city by raising a ridiculously high power bill?)

-People clipping their nails in public (seriously people?! IN PUBLIC?!) and/or not cleaning them up off of the ground (have y'all ever stepped on a nail that isn't yours? It's disgusting. Don't be that person),
-One uppers (sorry my life isn't as good as yours)
-People doing that mucusy way of clearing their throat/nose
and
-People touching their eyes *shutters.*

However, all these pet peeves of mine are pretty livable. Yeah they're annoying and, aside from the clipping nails one, I'm able to easily shrug it off and move on with life after I complain to someone or roll my eyes (which no one is allowed to touch anytime ever under any circumstances ever).

That is, except for one. And you probably guessed it from my title.

Public displays of affection (PDA).

PDA makes me uncomfortable. I never know where to look, and I feel this emotion somewhere between annoyance and anger. Yet, like a bad car accident, I can't look away.

I didn't discover this pet peeve of mine (or perhaps I didn't develop it) until I came to BYU; the Holy Land of PDA.

BYU is peppered with an abnormal amount of couples; engaged, married, dating steadily, flings, and so on. So, while not every couple is PDA-ee, seeing couples fondling over each other is inevitable on BYU campus. And I'm not talking hand holding, cuddling, kissing - you know, the normal PDA. I'm talking about extreme PDA.

Let me clarify something for a second: I guess it's more when I'm STUCK with PDA. Sure, passing the average kissing couple or snuggling couple makes me sad and envious, and sitting behind the couple who is cuddling in church is distracting . . . and it's when I'm stuck by the couple who is doing weird PDA that it gets awful.

And it can get really, really weird.

And this, my friends, is the main plot of this blog post:

My encounters with weird PDA couples on campus.

The Nicholas Spark Couple

This encounter took place in the middle of the library on campus. I saw them as soon as I sat down and, in an effort to avoid one of my pet peeves, I immediately began looking for another computer I could sit at that would be out of view from them.

They're probably leaving soon. It looks like they're saying goodbye, I thought.

So I was correct on the assumption that they were saying goodbye. I was very wrong with the assumption that they'd be leaving soon.

The couple was right in front of me, so that whenever I stared at my computer I got a full view of their love and affection too.

They held each other's waists and stared sentimentally at each other. I saw the guy do puppy-dog eyes while doing a comical frown at the girl. She'd stroke his face with both hands like he was a cat and she was smoothing out his fur.

He cradled her head.
She cradled his too.

Long kiss.

At this point I'm like:




I felt so uncomfortable with the love fest taking place in front of me. And again, like a bad car accident, I couldn't look away.

The kiss ended.

Long hug. Their eyes were shut as they rocked back and forth ever so slightly.

I saw their left hands.

THIS COUPLE IS MARRIED?!?! THEY LITERALLY CAN DO THIS IN PRIVATE ANYTIME THEY WANT. WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS IN A PUBLIC LIBRARY?

The hug ended. They stared at each other again, their eyes huge. They stroked each others cheeks again.

Let me reemphasize this.

They were both stroking each others cheeks with both hands at the same time. 


Finally, he walked away. They held hands as the girl stayed, and when they were finally out of arms reach from each other, their hands lingered in the air.

They continued to stare at each other as they walked away. The girl was looking over her shoulder at him, the guy was walking backwards.

Meanwhile I'm all like:

Well I mean I guess I can focus on my homework now. 

Then, the girl took off in a speed walk, and the guy was running towards her. They threw themselves into a romantic embrace.

Of course. 
Is this some kind of social experiment?

I put my head back to:

Focus on homework focus on homework focus on homework. 

The girl now had her hands on his chest. The guy had his arms hands on her elbows. He was back to doing the fake, weird, pathetic, possibly trying to be humorous frown. This might've been okay if it weren't for everything else I had just witnessed. 

Back to stroking each others faces. 



Suddenly I got a text from my friend saying, "Not to be a creeper, but I like your shirt." 

I perked up.

I looked up over my computer, past the couple having a Nicholas Sparks moment, and saw my friend peering over her computer across from me. 

Oh, thank goodness.
I trotted over to her and knelt down by her saying, "Have you seen this couple?" 

"YES! They're too much!"

We began talking again when she said, "They're doing the staring at each other thing again."

"Oh dear goodness."


"I can't believe this couple. And they're married!" I said.

"I saw that! It's like, relax you'll see each other in a couple hours!"

"This is a public library - he's not getting drafted to war!"

(I texted two friends about the situation and that was both of their responses)

I stared at them as they smiled and stroked each others faces again.

"This is disgusting. This is disgusting."

He began to walk away again, and they stared at each other as they did so . . . and ran back into each others arms.

"I can't. I just can't . . . well you know, this is good for when I'm in a relationship. I'll know what not to do."

"Right? I remind myself that too. I know what my husband and I shouldn't do in public."

In total, they stared, ran, and embraced each other three times before the guy finally left for good. And when he did, the girl whispered "goodbye" and they stared at each other while he walked away.

In which time I wasted 25 minutes staring at this couple.

I blame them for not getting all the homework done that I wanted to.


The couple who knew no one else

This is a short story. I could probably make it a poem but I'm too lazy.

I walked into a building to see BOOM a couple kissing and whispering to each other RIGHT in the doorway.



I squeezed past them, went to class, and spent the rest of the lecture replaying the scenario in my head in which I said to them, "Look - I'm happy you're in love and all, but you're in the way so can you take this love scene somewhere less out of the way?"

The bubbless couple 

This also took place in the library. I would say "maybe I should stop going there" but everywhere at BYU is a trap for PDA.

I legitimately witnessed a girl come to a guy who was sitting at his computer, sit on his lap, stroke his hair/sides of face, and start making out.

And again. They were right in my line of vision.




The Honeymooners

I was in class once and, like the majority of my classes at BYU, my professor asked if anyone had any good news. This translates to, "Anyone got married or engaged or had a baby or got pregnant within the last forty eight hours?"

The couple right in front of me raised their hands and announced that they just got back from their honeymoon.

Oh no.

This meant two things:
1) They have already gotten all the physical contact crap out of the system and have regained their politeness and self awareness.
or
2) They're like every other average newly wed and are still too in love with each other to care about common courtesy.


Put that awkward fellow behind the couple....

AND THAT WAS ME THE WHOLE. ENTIRE. CLASS.

And then we get the different kind of PDA:

The Breaking Up Couples 

Seeing couples break up on campus is also pretty common on campus, though less noticeable. I have, however, had the privilege of stumbling upon a few break ups.

One time this couple walked out of the building I was walking into, and the girl was in HYSTERICS while the guy had her arm wrapped around her while she yelled, "IJUSTFEELSOHURTANDIDON'TGETWHYYOU'REBREAKINGUPWITHME"
Insert random hiccups in between letters.

I definitely did a double take.

Later that day, I was walking through a big open area on campus on my way to class when I spied a couple hugging . . . and hugging . . . and hugging.

I passed them, turned around, and saw that they were still hugging.

. . . and I slowly moonwalked back to them


"Are you okay?" asked the guy.

I heard a muffled sniffle.

"Yeah." said the girl.

"I'm sorry."

"I know."

More sniffles.

Aaaaanad I walked away. When I reached my building (which was a fair distance off), they were still caught up in their embrace. In like, the exact same poisition.

Weird, and different PDA.

I have 3 semesters left at BYU, so I'm sure I'll run into more PDA in the future.

I mean every university has it flaws, and if the main one is the bizarre, annoying, and disturbing PDA? I guess I can live with it.

I.......guess.......

Have an awkward thanksgiving dinner everyone.