Wednesday, January 26, 2011

oh the weather outside is weather...

1. Cicerones. I have never not been thankful for this phenomenal group of people that shaped my college career. Serious CLUV to the newbies of 08...and newbies 11 get ready for the wild ride.

How we started...

...and what we've become.

2. Not being an adult quite yet. Justifying turning off the world because of the rain. And having mexican fiestas in fraternity houses.

3. Pi Phi food. And the fact that it's provided for me. No responsibility needed.

4. Being able to walk. I was on crutches for about a month during my junior year and I felt a new appreciation for this. And it occurred to me (since I have a huge fear of injuring myself playing soccer...which starts tonight) that I would NOT be able to get to my classes this semester if I was on crutches. It would actually be impossible without someone driving me from class to class.

5. Living in Gainesville. Where real life takes a break. Or if you're Christopher Emmanuel...where life is like inception.

6. The internet. Making life easier since circa 1992.

7. Having four day weekends. Every weekend.

Friday, January 21, 2011

#nowplaying Back to December

I'm so glad you made time to see me
How's life, tell me how's your family
I haven't seen them in a while
You've been good, busier than ever
We small talk, work and the weather
Your guard is up and I know why

'Cause the last time you saw me
'Twas still burned in the back of your mind
You gave me roses and I left them there to die

So this is me swallowing my pride,
Standing in front of you saying I'm sorry for that night
And I'd go back to December all the time
It turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you
Wishing that I'd realized what I had when you were mine
I'd go back to December, turn around and make it alright
I go back to December all the time

These days I haven't been sleeping
Staying up playing back myself leaving
When your birthday passed and I didn't call
And I think about summer, all the beautiful times
I watched you laughing from the passenger side and
Realized I loved you in the fall
And then the cold came, the dark days when fear crept into my mind
You gave me all your love and all I gave you was goodbye

So this is me swallowing my pride,
Standing in front of you saying I'm sorry for that night
And I'd go back to December all the time
It turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you
Wishing that I'd realized what I had when you were mine
I'd go back to December, turn around and change my own mind
I go back to December all the time

I miss your tan skin, your sweet smile, so good to me, so right
And how you held me in your arms that September night,
The first time you ever saw me cry
Maybe this is wishful thinking
Probably mindless dreaming
If we loved again I swear I'd love you right

I'd go back in time and change it but I can't
So if the chain is on your door, I understand

But this is me swallowing my pride,
Standing in front of you saying I'm sorry for that night
And I'd go back to December
It turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you
Wishing that I'd realized what I had when you were mine and
I go back to December, turn around and make it alright and
I go back to December, turn around and change my own mind and
I go back to December all the time

Thursday, January 20, 2011

maybe it cracked under the pressure

Today I decided I am going to quit the Happiness Project. Not because I hate the world and want to be miserable, and certainly not because I don't want to live a happier life. But here I am 3 weeks into 2011 and to say that it has been a whirlwind of emotions would be an understatement. So it dawned on me today: you can't control happiness. Happiness is not something that I can turn on and off or manipulate. It's not something I can choose to be or not to be. I can do things that I enjoy, but if the underlying emotion at that time is not happiness then really it will all be for nothing.

So far, 2011 has not even come close to matching up to 2010 in happiness. 2011 was like the bad rebound after the perfect relationship, like playing John Brantley after playing Tim Tebow. It wasn't what I expected. And maybe, like John Brantley, 2011 was just destined to fail by circumstance. Maybe 2011 needs a new offensive coordinator who knows how to play a passing quarterback. I guess we'll have to wait for the season to finish to find out.

This morning I spent a large amount of time on facebook, reflecting back on 2010 and why I was so happy. And I noticed, there was no real reason. Of course I was doing all the things you're supposed to, like being with people I liked, and doing things that made me happy, and surrounding myself with the correct situations. But really, I was just a different person, especially in the beginning. Maybe it was the blonde hair. Either way, that person has been lost and I don't think the Happiness Project is the way to bring her back.

So here are some highlights of 2010 and happy Emily. In 2011 I am still going to stick to some of my resolutions, but for the first time in my life I'm going to relinquish some of the control I have (or want to have) over every situation. I'm going to accept that I can't make everyone happy, and that I can't control my own happiness in relationships with other people. I think 2011 is destined to be a worse year than 2010, if not simply by the circumstance that it holds the unknown future in its second half. But here's to 2010...and everything about it that made me happy.

My last moments of 2010. The happiest and best new year I've ever had, in the Ritz Carlton.

Day trip to Orlando over Winter Break

Senior events

Date Functions

Harry Potter premieres (at 3:15)

My sister's Bat Mitzvah

Gamedays at Phrathouse


FBK Speakers Bureau

Homecoming and meeting Aziz

Last Homecoming

AGR Buck-off...this entire night

Spontaneous Roadtrip to NOLA #3

Becoming a great-grandbig, and my Beta Alpha Sigma Family

More Phrathouse Gamedays

Spontaneous Roadtrip to NOLA #2

With the SHED Barbeque

Spontaneous Roadtrip to NOLA #1

Senior Bid Day

"Learning to Cook"

Newbies 08 and Senior CLUV

Senior Prefs

W8A Super p10s

Goats on the roof and days off

This sums up camp...I could probably put up 100 pictures more

My 21st Birthday...obviously

Summer A summer senate...motion to extend?

That time I tried to enter an oyster eating my new Lilly


NOLA Spring Break by Day...

...and by night

SG Trip to Tallahassee

Kappa Sig Woodser

Project Makeover :-)

The Heart for Haiti 5K and valentine's day

Blue Man Group

Cicerone Interviews

Going Blonde

And of course the most epic end to 2009 and beginning of 2010...Israel

Monday, January 17, 2011

#nowplaying A little bit Stronger by Sara Evans

Woke up late today, and I still feel the sting of the pain.
But I brushed my teeth anyway, got dressed through the mess and put a smile on my face.
I got a little bit stronger.

Riding in the car to work, and I'm trying to ignore the hurt.
So I turned on the radio, Stupid song made me think of you,
I listened to it for minute, but I changed it.
I'm getting a little bit stronger, just a little bit stronger.

And I'm done hoping that we can work it out,
I'm done with how it feels, spinning my wheels
Letting you drag my heart around.
And ohhh
I'm done thinking, that you could ever change.
I know my heart will never be the same,
but I'm telling myself I'll be okay.
Even on my weakest days, I get a little bit stronger.

Doesn't happen over night, but you turn around and a months gone by,
And you realize you haven't cried.
I'm not giving you a hour or a second or another minute longer.
I'm busy getting stronger.

And I'm done hoping that we can work it out,
I'm done with how it feels, spinning my wheels
Letting you drag my heart around.
And ohhh
I'm done thinking, that you could ever change.
I know my heart will never be the same,
but I'm telling myself I'll be okay.
Even on my weakest days, I get a little bit stronger.
I get a little bit stronger.

Getting along without you baby,
I'm better off without you baby,
How does it feel with out me baby?
I'm getting stronger without you baby.

And I'm done hoping that we can work it out,
I'm done with how it feels, spinning my wheels
Letting you drag my heart around.
And ohhh
I'm done thinking, that you could ever change.
I know my heart will never be the same,
but I'm telling myself I'll be okay,
Even on my weakest days, I get a little bit stronger.
I get a little bit stronger.

I'm just a little bit stronger.
A little bit, a little bit, a little bit stronger.
I get a little bit stronger.

it's been a while

since I had anything to be thankful for...

1. A day off of school. Thanks to one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century.

2.The fact that I am still in college, and the semester has barely started.

3. My mom. She always works hard to make sure that I'm taken care of, even though it's technically not her responsibility anymore.

4. Boy Meets World reruns at 7 am. To help me through those early mornings.

5. Starbucks. And the people who work there who know me.

6. My friends. Of all groups. Who do whatever they can to be there for me.

7. An empty wall. To create whatever I want on.

Monday, January 10, 2011

when it comes to mondays...

...this one is particularly bad.

Beginning with what was supposed to be an extremely early morning cycling class (scratched), and instead beginning with just a rough start around 8 am, this Monday could not look more formidable. Immediately after I exited the shower I woke up just enough to understand what the startling sounds outside my window were...thunder. Not only is it downpouring, but the copious amounts of rain are interspersed with lightning and favorite. That coupled with a full day of meetings and work including what is sure to be one of the latest nights of the semester makes this...a formidable monday.

Fortunately two good things came out of this Monday.

The first happened when I heard the thunder. This summer at camp I had one new camper. A cute little blonde from San Fransisco, Adena was a first timer on the east coast who fit in with my girls in about 10 seconds. One of the first realizations I had that she wasn't from around here was the first thunder storm we had that summer. For those who don't know, the southeastern United States get particularly bad thunder storms, and I have heard it rumored that Tampa, Florida is the lightning capital of the world. So these storms to me, especially after hurricanes, barely interfere with my life, unless I get caught without an umbrella. However, poor Adena, stuck on the top bunk, nearly had a heart attack and asked me if the sky was breaking open. Evidently, the thunder storms in San Fran are not of nearly the magnitude that they are down here, and she didn't think that the screen windows and sad little wood cabin was enough to protect her from what was surely the end of the world.

This memory makes me so happy. Currently, I am struggling with the decision about whether to return to camp this summer, without my campers, or to follow them across two continents and spend the summer with them in Israel. It has been an extremely difficult decision, but the more memories I have like this, the more I feel confident that I will make the right decision, and wait another year before I see camp again.

The second happy thought came when I realized it was the first Monday of the semester. Last semester, when things got particularly bad, my friend Ruthie started sending me inspirational Monday morning text messages. I always forgot they were coming, but each time they did I got a little bit happier regardless of the situation. Noticing how early I was awake, I decided to take the initiative and send her one since she has spent the weekend sick in bed with what can only be the bubonic plague (or a cold, the jury's still out).

I realize that Ruthie and I will probably not live in the same place again after this semester, but how lucky we are to have ample means of communication at our fingertips. As an out-of-state student, Ruthie is much more open to the idea of picking up and relocating, whereas the Gainesville native in me sees this as nothing short of terrifying. But, if we tried hard enough (and I know I am going to), Ruthie and I can at least continue to send each other happy Monday morning texts, if not happy texts whenever we get the opportunity too.

So now Monday begins...and I feel a mix of happiness, sadness, and anxiety at the thought of trekking across campus in the rain. But I guess happiness isn't always smiles, sometimes it's just taking a negative situation and making it a positive one.

Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.

-Grouch Marx

Friday, January 7, 2011

My First Splendid Truth

Sometimes it's nice to be alone. But other times it's not.

laugh out loud

As I near the end of Mrs. Rubin's book, I find that I have become an extremely introspective person in the last few days. Normally, I am not a fan of introspection. Why sit and think about things when you can go out and do? However, much like Mrs. Rubin, I have started having moments where a situation makes me stop and reflect--am I really happy?

Today's situation occurred about 30 minutes ago. My roommates and I were walking up the stairs to our apartment, and we were just being ridiculous. Seeing as none of us has plans to go out tonight (here's a good splendid truth...four nights out in a row is too many), we were just planning on sitting around watching tv and hanging out. But something on the stairs, for some reason created an outright hysteria in our laughter that had me crying and gasping for breath.

And then it hit me...I am so happy.

There are many times I regret decisions I've made in college. Organizations I've wasted my time on, classes I haven't given enough effort (or just wish I hadn't taken at all), and things I've put off until "the time is right." In my four years I've never been to a FL/GA game because I always thought I would wait until I was 21 and had a place to stay. But, without all the decisions and mistakes I've made in the past 3 1/2 years, I wouldn't be surrounded by the people I am. People that, when I look back at my college career, I will know have made these four years the best of my life so far.

As for my other resolutions, I did finally make it to the gym. After Lauren and I missed our class, we proceeded to do some weight machines (with no direction), and walk the full 2 miles across campus back to our apartment. I decided against going out, and decided I'm going to dedicate my Friday night to reading (for school and fun), so that I feel better going into next week. And even though I woke up with a cold, I stuck to all my commitments. Fortunately, my bed was already made and I've had an easy time keeping my room clean (there really is something to be said for tackling small messes versus big messes). Most importantly, last night I hung out with my camp friends, fulfilling my goal of not spending every second with the same group of people and ignoring other people who are also important to me.

Can't wait for a great Friday night with the people who make me laugh out loud.

<3 PHrathouse

Thursday, January 6, 2011

listen to the bells

Yesterday it rained. Which is a nice way of saying it was a small monsoon outside my apartment. The rain has never made me happy. Coupled with the cold we are basically asking to put me in a bad mood. I begrudgingly got out of bed (might I add, after attending all of my classes and looking presentable in them), and agreed to pick up my friend from the pouring rain to take him to our meeting. In the midst of complaining about the weather, the lack of good drivers on the road, and the fact that we were going to be late, I noticed him attempting to open the window. He looked at me when I asked why he would do such a thing in a monsoon and said, "I want to listen to the bells." I looked up past him and realized that at 4:48 on a Tuesday afternoon, someone was at the top of Century Tower playing a recital on the carillon. And so, I listened.

As for my other resolutions, I have already fallen behind in flossing my teeth and looking presentable every day. However, I made an effort to remember this morning (earning myself a nice smiley face sticker), and showered in between my two blocks of class (by the way, 6 hours of class on better be worth having Monday and Friday off). This change made my last block of class infinitely easier.

In addition, I realized how much I took for granted about my class location last semester. In other words, that having a class right across the street was a blessing. All of my classes now are down what is known as the Shands hill, the largest hill on campus (or in the world...I'm not sure. It's huge). In addition to being up and down hill, my apartment is at least a mile from the location of three of my classes. And on the way back, as you might have figured out, it's uphill. Yesterday as I approached Museum Road and 13th street, I realized in shock that I still had 6 more blocks to walk....uphill. By the time I made it back I had a stitch in my side (emphasizing my need to exercise more). However, today in the post-monsoon sunshine, it occurred to me that walking 2 miles every day (4 on Tuesday and Thursday) was not only regular exercise, but a good amount of it. This realization led to the realization that I am already on my way to exercising more in the new year, even though I have yet to visit a gym (tomorrow for sure). I was ecstatic.

So maybe I haven't established the pattern I want to establish for the next couple of years, but I am on my way to keeping at least some of my resolutions. I have also started writing things down--blogging, keeping a one-sentence journal (a la Gretchen Rubin), and writing things in a notebook I keep in my planner so that I won't forget anything important. As we progress I'll tackle cooking, organizing my life, and getting more regular sleep. Until then, I am quite content just listening to the bells.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

the last first day of school

It's an interesting concept. The beginning of the end. I can distinctly remember the day I changed my Facebook network--UF 2011. At the time, I was struggling with my own concept of growing up, transitioning from high school to college, leaving my old friends for new ones, moving out, and generally feeling as though life was about to change. But 2011 was four years away, and at 18, 4 years was a long time. Yet here I am, five days into the year I graduate college. Starting class for the last time as an undergraduate at the University of Florida.

There have certainly been times when I was ready to leave; times when the end couldn't come soon enough. Yet here I am, staring at a degree audit that reads: ALL REQUIREMENTS HAVE BEEN MET. Academically I've reached my end at UF, but when I look back at college, will all my requirements have really been met?

I started a bucket list at the end of junior year. So far, none of my to-do items have been crossed off. I didn't attend every game, I'm not finished with my FBook, I haven't done anything spectacular to make this year more memorable. So now I'm faced with a list of accomplishments and a time frame to complete them while still occupying myself with school, involvement, and fwendz. I didn't ever manage to do a Salty Dog 11-11 happy hour, but I spent many happy hours with my friends in other places. I didn't get to be the director or chair of any event, but I made a significant contribution to many others. I didn't get straight As, but I managed to learn something from some of my classes. So have I failed my bucket list, or have I found other ways to make my time at UF my best time ever?

At the last service of camp this summer, my friend Ari began his farewell with this:

"If you only had two days left at camp, what would you do? Would you climb to the top of the rock wall? Would you sing the birkat on stage? Would you tell your friends and counselors how you really felt?"

This last semester will be my last hoorah. So will I spend my time climbing to the top of Century Tower, or simply making sure that every time I pass it I make a point to take in its beauty? Will I road trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, or will I spend my last spring break with the people who make me the happiest? Is it about the experiences, or the memories? With no direction in life I only know that this semester may be one of the most important times of my life, and however it's spent, it will be happy.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

challenge #4: Live Right.

In the spirit of general challenges, and fitting because my favorite number is 4, my last challenge will be to live right. This challenge is fluid; I find new things to make my life better every day. And I wanted to allow the last one to be more fluid because I can already feel myself cracking under the pressure of trying to get these resolutions to be a part of my life. I think it's safe to say that this next month especially is going to be a struggle, but to keep myself in line in general, I know that there are some things I need to be constantly working on.

Be nicer.
Appreciate the important people in life.
Write things down. Take pictures. Document these memories.
Stay on top of life.
Keep learning and exploring.
Don't sweat the small stuff.
It's not about who you're letting down, it's about not letting down yourself.
Remember: the days are long but the years are short.
Whatever it is, it's good enough.

And again keeping in mind, these may change.

challenge #3: getting it together

I guess this set of challenges is something that has no common thread, but falls into the category of lifestyle. Basically, I want to start living my life right, which while it incorporates all the challenges, rests on the extent to which I live from day to day.

1. Practice more than just good hygiene.

Before anyone gets grossed out, I have good hygiene. I have perfect teeth, shower daily and generally work to be a clean person (more than that, dirty and smelly people freak me out). However, for the fact that I have gone 21 years with no cavities, braces, or major oral surgeries, I have never practiced a regular flossing routine. And it has come around to haunt me. Additionally, I have out of control hair, and often find myself wanting to just put it up and not take the time to make it look presentable. This makes me feel less than clean, and often I end up showering again to correct it which is just bad for your hair. So this year I want to floss every day and make myself look presentable every day.

2. Clean your room.
About every 2 weeks I realize that I can't live in my room anymore (normally it's because I need to study and would rather clean than study). But this year I resolve to put all my clothes away (unfortunately that starts with unpacking everything I took to New Orleans), find places for everything, downsize, and most importantly, make my bed every day. Without a doubt, this will be the hardest resolution for me to keep.